Knowledge, attitude, and practice of paramedics in Qatar regarding the use of personal protective equipment against COVID-19

Padarath Gangaram, Yugan Pillay, Guillaume Alinier

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine, Trauma and Acute Care
Volume2022
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

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