Paramedic knowledge of infectious disease aetiology and transmission in an Australian Emergency Medical System

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Title Paramedic knowledge of infectious disease aetiology and transmission in an Australian Emergency Medical System
Author Shaban, Ramon Z.; Creedy, Debra K.; Clark, Michele J.
Journal Name Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care
Year Published 2003
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Monash University
Abstract Introduction Paramedics and other emergency health workers are exposed to infectious disease particularly when undertaking exposure-prone procedures as a component of their everyday practice. This study examined paramedic knowledge of infectious disease aetiology and transmission in the pre-hospital care environment. Methods A mail survey of paramedics from an Australian ambulance service (n=2274) was conducted. Results With a response rate of 55.3% (1258/2274), the study demonstrated that paramedic knowledge of infectious disease aetiology and modes of transmission was poor. Of the 25 infectious diseases included in the survey, only three aetiological agents were correctly identified by at least 80% of respondents. The most accurate responses for aetiology of individual infectious diseases were for HIV/AIDS (91.4%), influenza (87.4%), and hepatitis B (85.7%). Poorest results were observed for pertussis, infectious mononucleosis, leprosy, dengue fever, Japanese B encephalitis and vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE), all with less than half the sample providing a correct response. Modes of transmission of significant infectious diseases were also assessed. Most accurate responses were found for HIV/AIDS (85.8%), salmonella (81.9%) and influenza (80.1%). Poorest results were observed for infectious mononucleosis, diphtheria, shigella, Japanese B encephalitis, vancomycin resistant enterococcus, meningococcal meningitis, rubella and infectious mononucleosis, with less than a third of the sample providing a correct response. Conclusions Results suggest that knowledge of aetiology and transmission of infectious disease is generally poor amongst paramedics. A comprehensive in-service education infection control programs for paramedics with emphasis on infectious disease aetiology and transmission is recommended.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://ro.ecu.edu.au/jephc/vol1/iss3/10
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the authors 2003. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the publisher’s website or contact the authors.
Volume 1
Issue Number 3-4
Page from 6
Page to 12
ISSN 1447-4999
Date Accessioned 2006-07-21
Date Available 2013-07-30T23:21:39Z
Language en_US
Comments Pagination is not for citation purposes. Article has been allocated the number: 990046
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Griffith Health Institute
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Epidemiology; PRE2009-Medical & Health Sciences
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/26867
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1a

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