Montgomery County recommends people fill out a form with the medications they take and their medical histories to have on hand if they need to go to the hospital.
File of Life cards aren’t new. Primarily, they were intended for the elderly, or people with chronic medical issues. But now, new procedures for the treatment and transport to an emergency room for suspected COVID-19 cases makes them even more useful.
“We can no longer take a family member with a patient when we go to the hospital,” Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said. “Visitors aren't allowed to go into the emergency room anymore.”
Without that person to provide information about medications, medical conditions, allergies and the like, the card does the talking if the patient can’t.
“It lists all your medications and important contact information and so forth,” Piringer said.
If you have to call for help and it sounds COVID-19 related, you may get a strike team response — an EMT and a paramedic paired together with the protective gear and procedures required for a pandemic. They can decide whether an ER visit is necessary.
“Trying to relieve the stress of taking people to the emergency rooms and things along those natures,” Piringer said.
Call 311 to get a File of Life card in the mail or download one here.