Knowledge of First Aid Skills Among Students of a Medical College in Mangalore City of South India

Author(s): Joseph N, Kumar GS, Babu YPR, Nelliyanil M, Bhaskaran U

Background: The adequate knowledge required for handling an emergency without hospital setting at the site of the accident or emergency may not be sufficient as most medical schools do not have formal first aid training in the teaching curriculum. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the level of knowledge of medical students in providing first aid care. Subjects and Methods: This cross‑sectional study was conducted during May 2011 among 152 medical students. Data was collected using a self‑administered questionnaire. Based on the scores obtained in each condition requiring first aid, the overall knowledge was graded as good, moderate and poor. Results: Only 11.2% (17/152) of the total student participants had previous exposure to first aid training. Good knowledge about first aid was observed in 13.8% (21/152), moderate knowledge in 68.4% (104/152) and poor knowledge in 17.8% (27/152) participants. Analysis of knowledge about first aid management in select conditions found that 21% (32/152) had poor knowledge regarding first aid management for shock and for gastro esophageal reflux disease and 20.4% (31/152) for epistaxis and foreign body in eyes. All students felt that first aid skills need to be taught from the school level onwards and all of them were willing to enroll in any formal first aid training sessions. Conclusion: The level of knowledge about first aid was not good among majority of the students. The study also identified the key areas in which first aid knowledge was lacking. There is thus a need for formal first aid training to be introduced in the medical curriculum.


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