File of Life…Could Be Your Last Hope to Survive!
Original Article: File of Life…Could Be Your Last Hope to Survive!
Water Bear Declare: 5 bucks and an ink pen could be your last hope!Water Bear
File of Life, ever heard of it? If not, don’t feel bad. I don’t think most people outside of EMS know what it is. I’d never heard of File of Life until I found it on Cryonics Institute’s website. But you don’t have to become a cryonicist to need a File of Life. It’s important even for those just trying to survive day to day.
File of Life is simple.
A simple document and a few alert cards and stickers let first responders know who you are and how to care for you. Key medical information such as allergies and medications get listed as well as any contact info.
You place a bright red sticker on your car window and on your house’s front door that tells first responders there’s a File of Life packet inside. Then you place the packet somewhere it will easily be found like on your refrigerator or in your glove box.
Basically it’s one more way to ensure your existence. Are you required to have one? No. But does it improve your chances of getting proper care and treatment? Absolutely. Even someone who’s not familiar with File of Life quickly understands what the document is and what it’s for. Anything someone would need if they came upon your unconscious or deanimated body should be listed to let them know how to help you.
Cool, but I probably don’t need one…
How do you know if you need a File of Life packet? Do you base it on your location? How about on your age? Maybe you should only get one if you face a terminal threat.
Actually, I’d suggest getting one even if you’re healthy and not likely to die at all. Even if you have no allergies and even if you don’t take any medications, it’s still worth it to have a File of Life so others know the best way to help you.
If you’re in an emergency and someone calls 9-11, do you know what happens after that? First 9-11 dispatches an ambulance, hopefully it’s an ambulance that’s in-network according to your insurance or else you might get a hefty $1,000 bill.
But what if your File of Life packet lists a specific ambulance service? Maybe whoever calls 9-11 tells them your preferred ambulance and saves you next year’s bonus.
Plus your File of Life packet could list your preferred hospital too. Maybe you don’t want to go to a certain hospital because their doctors aren’t covered by your insurance. Maybe it’s some other reason.
In the U.S. the ambulance usually takes you wherever is closest unless you specifically request something different. But if you’re unconscious, then the only way to get what you want is to have it listed somewhere or to make it known before an emergency happens.
So who should have a File of Life packet?
• Young people
• Old people
• Terminally ill people
• People who like to save money
• People who object to autopsy
• Cryonics members
• Gay or straight
• Anyone of any religious belief that cares about their treatment
• Anyone who might face a sudden or unforeseen emergency
Image by Cryonics Institute
What if I’m in another country?
One of my friends mentioned that people in their country might not recognize File of Life or might not take it seriously. I can only speak for the U.S. since that’s where I live, but I still think keeping a File of Life is a good idea even if there’s a chance others won’t take it seriously or won’t recognize it.
Emergency medical responders are usually trained to recognize things like File of Life. But even if they’re not, it’s not rocket science. Anyone who comes upon a document that specifically states it contains emergency medical information is likely to take a look (if it’s an emergency). Assuming they’re not completely incompetent, there’s virtually no way they couldn’t figure it out. And if they are incompetent, they probably won’t help you anyway.
Civilians and people who aren’t trained might not know what File of Life is for, and might not take it seriously if they see it on your car. But I think if you’re in an emergency they’ll pay more attention. If someone comes across you or your body and realizes you’re in trouble, there’s a good chance they won’t laugh and joke about your File of Life sticker.
Obviously there’s no guarantee. Even trained responders might not notice the File of Life sticker on your window. To me it’s all a numbers game. How do I give myself the BEST possible chance of getting the kind of help I need? I do WHATEVER I can to let others know what I need.
Where can I get a File of Life packet?
There are lots of places to buy a File of Life packet and most are very affordable. In a pinch you can even make one yourself, but if you want something with stickers and magnets and bright red flashy colors, you’ll probably want to order online.
Why should I consider Cryonics Institute File of Life?
Cryonics Institute File of Life is both affordable and more useful than the average File of Life packet. Most packets only cover basic medical needs whereas Cryonics Institute’s File of Life packet also specifies contact information for cryopreservation and a section regarding religious objection to autopsy.
The labeling is incredibly clear, and very bright. The stickers work well, and the magnets hold strong. Plus your purchase supports cryonics. That’s more than enough reason for me, especially since I’m a CI member. If you’re interested, check out the review video I made below for a quick look at what’s in the CI packet:
Members of other cryonics organizations may want to make their own File of Life or at least list their own organization’s numbers. The Cryonics Institute File of Life packet specifically lists information for CI which isn’t so helpful for other cryonicists so keep that in mind.
Just friggin do it already…
Maybe you don’t think you’ll die today and maybe you don’t think an accident will happen, but you don’t know. A File of Life packet might not get noticed. It might get made fun of. It might feel silly. But if it ends up saving your ass, you’ll be glad you did it.
So just do it already!
Until next time!
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