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Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Regarding Burns Prevention and Burn First Aid Among Medical Students of King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Lama S Alghamdi, Asma M Alahmari, Hissa M Alshaibani, Manal A Alem, Nada M Aloufi, Anhar M Hasanain, Mawaddah K Yousuf, Badrah S. Alghamdi.

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Background: Burn first aid awareness and knowledge has been shown to be inadequate worldwide. Several reports demonstrate medical students and healthcare providers are not competent in burn first aid. Therefore, adequate burn first aid education should be considered as an essential aspect of the medical curriculum.
Objectives: We aimed to assess knowledge, attitude and practices of medical students at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, towards burn prevention and its first aid. We also assessed the opinion of medical students for the need of first aid education in their curriculum.
Methods: We conducted a web-based survey among all-years medical students at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire was adopted from another study with similar objectives. The survey consisted of 22 questions in two sections, sociodemographic and burn prevention and its first aid, along with an added question to assess students' preference towards traditional remedies. The data was collected between July and October 2019.
Results: Of 871 responses, 861 medical students fully completed the survey (mean age of 21.9 years ± 1.5 years; 56.7% males), yielding a response rate of 42.8%. 50.9% of the students scored as having fair knowledge. Higher level of knowledge was associated with females, burn injuries, and high family income. Alarmingly, 54.9% of the students agreed to use ice as a traditional remedy. And since the textbooks were the main source of information to medical students, 97.1% of them agreed for the need of first aid education as a part of their curriculum.
Conclusion: We report an alarming gap of knowledge of burn first aid and several misconceptions. We hope that our findings encourage educational institutions to assess medical school curricula to rectify a high competency level in burn first aid and prevention.

Key words: Burns, Medical Students, Burn First Aid, Fire Prevention, Traditional Remedies

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