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Sunday, March 24, 2019

(Courtesy of HRH) Hudson Regional Hospital, in partnership with Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and the town of Secaucus, has improved first responder- patient communications by creating a File Of Life emergency medical information card program for Northern NJ citizens.

Registration in the national File of Life program involves filling out a foldable card with pertinent medical information. The card is placed in a red magnetic file that first-responders are trained to look for on the refrigerator or in the freezer, that assists them in providing care to patients even if they are not able to communicate at the time of the emergency. File of Life has been providing its life-saving information cards for more than two decades and is in 18 million homes nationwide.

First responders are trained to look for the bright red medical record in the event someone experiences a medical emergency, and use this information to initiate fast and appropriate treatment. In certain serious medical emergencies, patients are unable to speak for themselves due to their level of consciousness or other factors. File of Life can speak for them; by providing first responders with medical histories and current medications, first responders are able to easily ascertain possible causes of the current medical emergency and initiate quick and appropriate treatment. In other cases, a patient may be able to speak but may be too panicked or nervous to provide a thorough history, leaving out vital information such as medication allergies. File of Life can fill in the gaps, and provide responders with all of the information they require, resulting in less stress for the patient and more time to focus on treatment instead of questioning.

Hudson Regional Hospital’s healthcare professionals will be available to assist residents in filling out their own free File of Life cards and provide free health screenings to anyone who registers at a series of community registration events. The program will officially begin after an announcement at the Secaucus Mayor and Council Caucus meeting on Tuesday, February 26, at 4:30 p.m. at 1203 Paterson Plank Road.

“It’s a simple way for citizens to ensure they are getting the best possible care in a medical emergency, and a great step towards building a healthier Secaucus,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli.

“Medical emergencies can happen to anyone at any time, and a patients’ confusion, panic or inability to provide information on current medical issues can interfere with their care,” said Kristin Hyman, chief of EMS for Hudson Regional Hospital. “The File for Life card can speak for them and can tell public safety dispatchers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics what steps to take to save their lives.”

Registration events will be held throughout the year at large residential complexes, public gathering places and local businesses, with the goal to have all Secaucus residents enrolled by the end of 2019. The hospital’s community outreach team representatives will come to to the homes of any Secaucus residents who are unable to attend these events due to mobility or health issues.

If your community is interested in participating with the File of Life program, please contact Kristin Hyman in the emergency department at (201) 392-3210 or email [email protected]

Hudson Regional Hospital is the first hospital in Hudson County to offer the File for Life emergency medical card program. It intends to work with municipal and county officials to have all Secaucus residents registered by the end of 2019, and then expand efforts to the greater Northern New Jersey area.

About Hudson Regional Hospital

Hudson Regional Hospital offers preventive and other services both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Patients can inquire about these services or schedule appointments by contacting the hospital directly, either via telephone or email at [email protected]

Patients facing medical emergencies should proceed directly to the emergency room. The emergency room contact number is (201) 392-3210.

For a tour of the new Hudson Regional Hospital or to meet the owner and executive staff, physicians should call George Matyjewicz at (201) 392-3436 or email [email protected].