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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 261-265

Knowledge, attitude and practices of Nigerian anaesthetists in HIV infected surgical patients- a survey

Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Lagos Idi-Araba, PMB.12003, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O T Kushimo
Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Lagos Idi-Araba, PMB.12003, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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In the light of increasing prevalence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), anaesthetists are likely to see more patients with this virus in their practice. This study evaluated, using a questionnaire format, the knowledge, attitude and practices of anaesthetists in the management of HIV infected surgical patients. The questionnaire sought demographic information, the knowledge of risks involved as well as attitude and practices. One hundred (66.7%) out of 150 questionnaires distributed amongst members of the Nigerian Society of Anaesthetists were completed and returned. Fifty-five per cent (55%) of the respondents confirmed their willingness to be screened but only 45% had had a personal HIV screening test. Even though 23% of all the respondents will transfuse unscreened blood in an emergency, only 1(8.3%) of the consultants will do so. This trend was also reflected in gloving behaviour as 11(91.6%) of consultants will routinely wear gloves whilst only 12(70.5%) of the senior house officers will routinely glove for venepuncture despite the availability of gloves. Other precautionary facilities such as goggles, sharp disposal bins, routine screening of all surgical patients were more available in private than in government hospitals. Ninety- six per-cent of all respondents will initiate an action after a needle stick injury whilst 4% will ignore. General Anaesthesia was the choice of anaesthetic in an HIV/AIDS infected patient by 43% of respondents whilst 22% of respondents would choose regional technique. However, only 85% of respondents were willing to anaesthetise an infected patient. This study suggested a dearth of knowledge and perception of risks of HIV/AIDs amongst Nigerian Anaesthetists. Appropriate training and greater education is highly recommended. Rigorous infection control policy is imperative and hospital authorities must ensure availability of protective facilities.

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