Original Research

Anaesthetists’ knowledge of airborne infections

Ahmed Elghobashy, Juan Scribante, Helen Perrie, Dorinka Nel
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 37, No 1 | a351 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v37i1.351 | © 2022 Ahmed Elghobashy, Juan Scribante, Helen Perrie, Dorinka Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 October 2021 | Published: 30 May 2022

About the author(s)

Ahmed Elghobashy, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Juan Scribante, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Helen Perrie, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dorinka Nel, Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Anaesthetists need to be knowledgeable regarding the control of airborne infection to ensure safe practice. The aim of this study was to determine anaesthetists’ knowledge regarding airborne infections in the perioperative period in the Department of Anaesthesiology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Methods: A cross-sectional research design was followed using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. Data were collected at academic departmental meetings by convenience sampling. Returning the questionnaire implied consent. A score of 65% was considered adequate knowledge.

Results: Of the 150 questionnaires distributed, 137 (91.3%) questionnaires were returned. An overall mean (standard deviation [s.d.]) score of 58.8% (4.252) was achieved, and only 11 (8.1%) of anaesthetists had adequate knowledge. There was no statistically significant association between seniority and passing or failing (p = 0.327). The highest mean (s.d.) score, 67.4% (6.979), was reported in the section pertaining to patients, followed by the section regarding operating theatre staff at 58.1% (11.899) and the lowest mark, 53.5% (5.553), for the environment section. Anaesthetists scored significantly better in the knowledge regarding patients’ section than in other sections (p < 0.0005).

Conclusion: Knowledge of airborne infections in this study was poor, with only 8.1% achieving a pass, and no difference in knowledge between junior and senior anaesthetists was observed. Considering the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic at the time of the study, this was a surprising finding. Urgent action needs to be taken to ensure the safety of anaesthetists, other operating theatre staff and patients.

 


Keywords

airborne; anaesthetists; knowledge; infections; healthcare; perioperative

Metrics

Total abstract views: 208
Total article views: 185


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.