Background: A medical identification tag (MIT) can provide vital information about a persons existing medical conditions during the emergency situations. In this study, we aimed to explore the Saudi populations awareness of MITs and their uses as well as factors affecting their knowledge of them.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in five medical cities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A total of 385 participants who met the inclusion criteria were invited to participate in the study. Data were gathered using an electronic questionnaire of 13 items exploring demographics, level of awareness, and uses of MITs.
Results: Of 385 participants, 32.2% were aware of MITs. Education level was positively associated with awareness of MITs (p = 0.001). Occupational status and occupation type were significantly associated with awareness of MITs (p = 0.004 and 0.006, respectively). This cohort felt that bracelets (61.3%) and cards (61.3%) were the most effective MITs. Most (87.5%) of the participants felt that MITs are essential for those with diabetes mellitus.
Conclusions: Most of the Saudi population lacks the knowledge about MITs. To improve patient safety and ease diagnoses and treatments in emergencies, it is important to educate healthcare workers, colleagues, and the general public about medical conditions that warrant the use of MITs.
Key words: Medical identification tag knowledge, medical identification tag uses, life-threatening medical conditions, emergency