Imagine this emergency 911 call. The ambulance rushes to the scene with lights flashing and the siren blaring because a medical alert button has been activated. Emergency personnel arrive to find an elderly person on the floor unconscious. Every second counts. The sooner they can assess the situation and begin medical treatment, the more likely their response can make a difference. But there are many questions to be answered. Does the patient have any existing conditions? Are they taking any medications? Do they have allergies? Who should be contacted?
Emergency calls to 911 are not uncommon for the elderly population. Indeed, 58% of emergency calls are for senior citizens. These medical emergencies may be filled with feelings of panic, confusion, and helplessness. But there is a simple way to improve the process.
The “File of Life” contains a mini-medical history that can save precious time and help emergency personnel quickly respond with life-saving treatment. The information is contained on a card in the pocket of a clearly noticeable bright-red refrigerator magnet.
Two thousand “File of Life” kits will be available to seniors in the Monroe County area. They will be distributed free of charge by TRIAD, an organization of seniors and law enforcement working together to address public safety issues affecting the elderly population. The program is also supported by the Office of the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney and the Area 10 Agency on Aging.
“These clearly recognizable refrigerator magnets are a simple solution with potential life-saving benefits,” said TRIAD member Elaine Pendley.
“Even with an emergency alert button, first-responders may spend valuable time determining how best to treat an unresponsive or confused patient,” agreed Wendy Scott, director of the Adult Protective Services program in the Prosecutor’s Office. “A File of Life kit can make a big difference.”
The “File of Life” will be distributed by TRIAD and Adult Protective Services at various events throughout the community. Area 10 Agency on Aging (812-876-3383) will also have the “File of Life” refrigerator magnets available to the public at their office in Ellettsville.