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Keywords:

  • children;
  • emergency medical tags;
  • haemophilia

Summary.  The use of emergency medical identification (EMI) such as MedicAlert® has been recommended for use in a variety of medical conditions; however, there is no consensus as to what form should be used and where they should be placed. There are also no uniform guidelines to direct first responders to where they should look for EMI in an emergency. The aim of this study was to identify current paediatric haemophilia nursing practice in educating families about EMI and their perceptions of patient/family adherence to using EMI. US haemophilia nurses listed on the Center for Disease Control’s website received an email invitation to participate in a 30-item questionnaire posted on SurveyMonkey. Survey responses showed a wide variety of responses concerning recommendations about the form and location of EMI, particularly in the infant population. Nurses also reported that EMI was often not worn on the body and had low overall adherence. In the infant and preschool population, this was due to safety concerns, sizing, cost and parents not seeing the need for EMI. In school age and adolescents, the barrier to wearing EMI included stigma, cost and sizing. Collaboration is needed among nursing and medical staff, first responders, emergency room staff and manufacturers of EMI to develop standardized EMI which address these issues. Standard educational guidelines are needed to teach nurses and patient/families about the forms and location of EMI. Additionally, national guidelines are needed for the identification of paediatric EMI by first responders and emergency room staff.