Background: Internationally, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, causing corona virus disease (COVID-19), has increased the demand on healthcare services and resources 1 . The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by paramedics has recently become apparent 2 . The risk of COVID-19 transmission has increased during prehospital life-saving procedures generating aerosols such as non-invasive ventilation, tracheal intubation, and external chest compressions, especially when working in a confined ambulance compartment 3 . Paramedics are encouraged to increase body-surface-isolation by donning additional PPE (high-filtration facemasks/face shields/surgical gowns/surgical hoods) during all patient encounters 2 . This study aimed to better understand paramedics’ knowledge, attitude, and practice of PPE utilization in the State of Qatar during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This prospective and quantitative study focused on the collection of descriptive data utilizing a purpose-designed online survey. Around 1300 frontline paramedics employed by Hamad Medical Corporation Ambulance Service (HMCAS) were invited via email to participate in the study. Results: 282 paramedics completed the survey. 90.4% were male and 78.7% had a bachelor's degree. 97.1% completed the mandatory HMCAS online infection control training program, 82.9% completed an N95 mask fit test in the last 5 years, and 91.5% completed the hand hygiene training program. The study found paramedics to be knowledgeable about COVID-19 and its transmission (98.2%) (Table 1). Paramedics’ attitude was mainly positive towards the use of PPE to prevent the spread of the virus which was synchronous with their practice. Conclusion: An effective model to curb the spread of COVID-19 amongst healthcare workers must consider the knowledge, attitude, and practice of first responders. This sample demonstrated a strong knowledge of COVID-19 and its transmission. Their overall positive attitude and good infection control practices were a demonstrative effort to mitigate risks associated with the spread of the virus in the prehospital setting.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Journal of Emergency Medicine, Trauma and Acute Care|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jan 2022|