Can identification badges be vectors of infection: Experience from a tertiary care center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
J Family Med Prim Care.
Alfarawi F1, Alshamardl K1, Almutairi M1, Alyamani A1, Aldhali S1, Alassaf F1, Alfadhel A1, Aldakheel M2, Almuhesseny A3, Aljohani S1, Mahmoud E1, Alothman A1.
1 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
2 Department of Medicine, Dar Al Uloom University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
3 Department of Medicine, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Year of Publication:
Wearing identification badges is mandatory in many hospitals. Identification badges worn by healthcare workers may be contaminated with pathogens.
The objective of this study is to determine the levels and types of contamination on identification badges of healthcare workers at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This is a cross-sectional study of 200 healthcare workers at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A data collection form was handed to all the participants and swab cultures of their identification badges were taken.
A total of 200 identification badges were sampled in this study. 37% were contaminated with pathogens. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was isolated from 70 badges (35%), and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus from four badges (2%). Contamination was highest in physicians (45% compared to 14-32% in other healthcare workers). Males and females had similar contamination rates (39 and 36%, respectively).
Identification badges worn by healthcare workers may be vectors of significant infection. We suggest more compliance of infection control measures in regards to disinfecting badges or personal belongings of healthcare workers.