The level of knowledge of the advanced trauma life support protocol among nonspecialist doctors involved in trauma care in Enugu metropolis
Background: Trauma is one of the leading causes of mortality in developing countries. Nonspecialist doctors are the first caregivers to attend to trauma patients. Most nonspecialist doctors in Nigeria lack extra training in trauma care including the ATLS training for doctors.
Objectives: To determine the knowledge of the ATLS protocol among nonspecialist doctors involved in trauma care in Enugu, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: We prepared and shared out questionnaires to the respondents, and later analyzed the information received using the SPSS 15.
Results: 65 out of 110 respondents (59.1%) filled and returned their questionnaires. 59 (90.8%) were males and 6 (9.2%) females. Their ages ranged from 29 to 47 years (35.6 ± 3.85 years) and they had been practicing for 1-16 years (mean 4.40 ± 3.540 years). 5 (7.7%) were medical officers while 60 (92.3%) were residents at various stages of training in different Surgical subspecialties. 41 or 63.1% rated their knowledge of the ATLS protocol as satisfactory. 22 (33.8%) demonstrated a satisfactory knowledge of ATLS. The three respondents (4.8%) who had undertaken a formal training in ATLS demonstrated excellent knowledge of ATLS. All believed that training in the protocol would be beneficial in their career.
Conclusion: There is a poor knowledge of ATLS among nonspecialist doctors involved in trauma care in Enugu, Nigeria. ATLS training should be adopted by the hospitals involved in the training of doctors and should become a condition to employ surgery residents.
Key words: Knowledge, non-specialist, trauma