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East and Central African Journal of Surgery

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Knowledge, Attitude and Practice in First Aid Management of Epistaxis by Accident and Emergency Clinical Staff at Kenyatta National Hospital

P Mugwe, KJ Kamau, OK Nyambaka

Abstract


Background: Epistaxis is one of the commonest emergencies in Accident & Emergency and Ear, Nose & Throat departments. A vast majority of these patients settle with simple standard first aid measures. The aim of this study was evaluate knowledge, attitude and practice in first aid  management of epistaxis among the clinical staff at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya.
Methods: This was a prospective descriptive cross- sectional study  conducted at the Accident and Emergency Department of Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya. The principal researcher administered a questionnaire to the clinical staffs who were doctors and nurses in the department.
Results: Data was collected from 70 clinical staff between October and December 2010. Nurses were the most respondents (68.6%); 17.1% were medical officers and 14.3% were senior house officers. Majority of the respondents had worked for over 10 years after highest qualification. The commonest first aid measures reported to be known by respondents included pinching the nose (94%), nasal packing (80.6%) and sitting leaning forward position (76.1%). Only 38.1% of respondents  demonstrated the correct site for pinching the nose. The main source of information for first aid measures was the curriculum in training (64.2%) while 16.4% sourced from a first aid course they had done. On positioning of patient with epistaxis, 60% gave correct responses while 51% correctly
said patient should be referred if epistaxis persists. All the 70 respondents felt that first aid was necessary in treatment of epistaxis. Majority (72.9%) of the respondents said they had ever given first aid to a patient with epistaxis.
Conclusion: The clinical staffs in the A & E Department have inadequate knowledge on the standard first aid measures of epistaxis. However, most had good attitude and had provided first aid to patients presenting with epistaxis. There is need for training the staff on these measures.

Keywords: Epistaxis, first aid, clinical staff.




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