Ambulance district, hospital team up to provide Files of Life

6/30/2017

Medical emergencies can happen anytime. When they do, there is confusion, panic and urgency. Paramedics arrive on the scene with no information about the person in need. Does the patient have prior medical conditions? Allergies? What medications are they taking? Who do they want called in an emergency and what is that contact information?
These are all questions that can be answered at a glance with the File of Life, a simple card where citizens write down pertinent medical information from medications to medical history and anything else that might be important for first responders to know.
“It’s difficult sometimes,” explained Kendall Shrum, director of the Ste. Geneveive County Ambulance District. “When people call 911 they may or may not be in position to give us reliable informa¬tion or information at all. So if we have at our fingertips the ability to look at medications they are on and look at their history, we have a better idea of what’s going on with them and more impor¬tantly how we can best treat them. Then we can pass this vital data on to awaiting physicians at the emergency room. It is an absolute asset to emergency preparedness.”
The Ste. Genevieve County Ambulance District and Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital have partnered to provide the Files of Life free of charge to residents.
“This simple tool can provide us with a much clearer picture of what’s going on,” said Laura Bailey, RN, BSN and ER Director at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital.
Shrum said the best place to keep the card is on the fridge; that way it’s easy for first responders to find. He also encourages residents to keep this information up to date.
“Information is vital in an emergency and the more information that we can have, the better care we can provide and the better care the doctors at the hospital can provide,” said Shrum.
File of Life programs have been implemented in almost 5,000 communities throughout the U.S. It is currently in over 14 million homes nationwide.
The Files of Life will be distributed at SGCMH community events or residents may pick one up any time from the marketing department or ambulance district.

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