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A File of Life might save your life

by Karin L. Nauber

You are home alone when you suddenly fall ill. You call 911 for help but when they arrive you are unable to tell them anything about what is going on or about your conditions.

A File of Life packet prominently displayed on your refrigerator could save your life.

The File of Life program is a magnetic pocket that holds a piece of folded paper containing your medical information.

The packet makes it possible to communicate your past medical history, the list of medications you are taking, and any life-threatening allergies you may have.

If you are unable to speak for yourself, the File of Life can tell your details for you and could save your life.

A few months ago, The Senior Perspective monthly newsletter contained a File of Life packet that included the magnetic pocket, a form to fill out your medical conditions/history, and medications you take.

This simple tool allows patients to post a “mini medical history” via a magnet on their refrigerator so paramedics/first responders have somewhere to look for this critical information.

The front of the form contains demographic information and communicates patient preferences including hospital of choice and whether or not an Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate form exists for the patient.

The back of the form is where the patient can document the prescription medications they take, any current medical conditions they have, and medication allergies paramedics will need to know about.

The form is then folded and placed in this magnetic pocket for display on the refrigerator.

According to the creators of File of Life, “Chances are there is something about your medical history or current medical status paramedics would need to know.”

The packets are known by various names such as File of Life or Vial of Life but the idea is the same—potentially life-saving information at a critical time.

Because medical emergencies can strike without warning, and sometimes leave you unable to advocate for yourself, the File of Life can help family members and rescue workers find important medical information FAST!

This sturdy vinyl pocket comfortably holds its own medical information form (where you can detail your medical conditions, medications, allergies, insurance info, emergency contacts, and more).

One vital feature of the packet is to make sure that you update your information. If you have a File of Life containing old information, that really isn’t very helpful and could cause a lot more harm than good.

The information is only useful if it is up-to-date.

You may contact Verna Toenyan at the Todd County Council on Aging to get one if you do not have one. Or you can easily take a zip lock baggy and put the information in that on your fridge. The form is available online if you search for File of Life. Many sites have a downloadable PDF form.

Do it today, it could save your life.

We will also have a PDF form you can use on our website: Just click the file below to download a PDF you can fill out.

Download PDF • 225KB


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