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File Of Life Program



An ambulance soars past traffic, sirens screaming and light flashing, the medical technicians race toward the home of a senior citizen.

When they arrive, the senior is unconscious and they have little to go on. does he have any existing conditions? Is he taking any medication? Does he have allergies?

This frightening scenario is all too common for senior citizens and the Emergency Medical Personnel who treat them. That's why the FILE OF LIFE, a mini medical history posted on the outside of one's refrigerator, was developed and is being promoted by local Councils on Aging and TRIAD (Lawmen and Seniors Working Together).

The FILE OF LIFE card enables medical personnel to obtain a quick medical history when a patient is unable to offer one. "The card eliminates the risk of a patient, in a frightened state, forgetting to mention something important, " said M. G. Ishler, Director of the Sought Hadley, Mass, Council on Aging.

The card, which is kept in a red plastic pocket labeled FILE OF LIFE, lists the patient name, emergency medical contact, insurance policy, social security number, health problems, medications, dosages, allergies, recent surgery, religion and a health care proxy. The entire pocket is held with a magnet to the outside of the refrigerator.

The FILE OF LIFE idea was born in Bridgeport, Conn. a few years ago in slightly form as the Vial of Life which was kept inside the refrigerator, Ishler said. But the small vial, with a small piece of paper containing medical information inside of it, absorbed moisture so the information became unreadable, in addition to getting lost. "The EMTs don't have time to clean out the refrigerator to find the vial" said Ishler, who helped organize the program.

The FILE OF LIFE pockets and files are distributed by Guilford FIre Department. If you or someone you know needs a File Of Life, Please contact Captain Andrew Hastings at Fire Headquarters at 203-453-8056.



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