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Anaphylaxis: Are doctors adequately aware? A study on perceptions and practices among first contact-level doctors in state healthcare institutions in Gampaha district

Authors:

D. Fernando ,

University of Colombo, LK
About D.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
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P. M. Attapattu,

University of Colombo, LK
About P. M.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
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S. D. S. M. P. Weerasinghe,

MOH Office, Gampaha, LK
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T. T. Dayaratne

University of Colombo, LK
About T. T.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal condition that needs improved clinical awareness, rapid diagnosis and timely and correct management in order to prevent death and serious complications. Deaths due to anaphylaxis still occur, in both community and hospital settings, in spite of treatment and facilities being readily available in most instances. Suboptimal knowledge and practices of first contact level doctors are likely to cause mismanagement.

 

Objective: To evaluate the awareness of firstcontact- level doctors in Gampaha district on diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis and to describe their current practices in anaphylaxis.

 

Method: A descriptive study was conducted among first-contact-level doctors in state healthcare institutions in Gampaha district to assess diagnosis, management and practices on anaphylaxis, using a self-administered questionnaire.

 

Results: Data from 98 doctors were analyzed and 95.9% correctly identified adrenaline as the first line treatment but only 76.5% knew the correct mode of administration and 30.6%, the correct adult dose and strength. Only 59.2% were aware of adrenaline self-administration and 29.6%, about auto-injectors. Only 2% correctly diagnosed all five case scenarios as anaphylaxis or allergy and only 7.2% correctly identified all potential anaphylaxis triggers stated in questionnaire. Only 55.1% have used adrenaline in the past, as the first- line treatment.

 

Conclusion: Knowledge on many aspects of anaphylaxis including diagnostic criteria, mode of administration and dose of adrenaline, autoinjectors, triggers and risk/co factors is inadequate in this population despite approximately a decade of work experience in most. Use of adrenaline in the treatment of anaphylaxis is unsatisfactory. Measures to improve diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis are essential.
How to Cite: Fernando, D. et al., (2017). Anaphylaxis: Are doctors adequately aware? A study on perceptions and practices among first contact-level doctors in state healthcare institutions in Gampaha district. Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians. 47(2), pp.86–91. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccp.v47i2.7789
Published on 16 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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