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Original Article

SJEMed. 2022; 3(1): 037-045

Examining the effectiveness of burn care practice in emergency units in Saudi Arabia: a pilot study

Hadeel Aljohani, Reshale Johar, Eithar Fatani, Taghreed Aldosary, Mohammed Alkahtani.


Background: Burns are one of the leading causes of trauma globally, and they require immediate management by the primary caregivers. The first hours are the most critical as the patient is susceptible to complications, if first line healthcare is insufficient. Therefore, this study evaluated the effectiveness of practice provided by emergency physicians regarding burn cases.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in February 2020. Data were collected via an assembled online questionnaire that was distributed among emergency physicians attending the fifth Saudi Society of Emergency Medicine conference.
Results: This study included 89 physicians, of which 59 (66.3%) claimed to be comfortable in dealing with different classifications of burns. The participants were asked if they could manage the patients according to the World Health Organization burn guidelines and 69 (77.5%) answered yes. Disconcertingly, the study showed that only 28.1% of the participants adhered to the initial management of the burn patients. Investigations showed that physicians who claim to have insufficient knowledge referred their patients rather than treating them (p = 0.002). A significant correlation between physicians who claimed to have sufficient knowledge and area of practice (p = 0.042) and the presence of a burn unit and the perception of sufficient knowledge to manage burns were also found (p = 0.016).
Conclusion: The effectiveness of burn first aid in the emergency department is an important aspect to tackle as the majority of the physicians reported that they do not think their knowledge is sufficient regarding burn care.

Key words: Burns; ER physicians; Burn management

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