Nigerian undergraduates’ knowledge, attitude and practice of accident casualty handling

Background and Objective: The practice of handling of accident casualties is an important factor
in reducing a case fatality rate. This study assessed knowledge, attitude and practice of accident casualty
handling among Nigerian undergraduates. Moreover, the prevalence of first aid training and accident scene characteristics were determined.
Materials and Methods: 401 (including 71.1% of non-medical and 28.9% of medical) undergraduates
of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria volunteered for this cross-sectional study yielding a
response rate of 89.1%. A previously validated questionnaire on knowledge, attitude and practice of handling of accident casualties was used. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data. Alpha level was set at p<0.05.
Results: 50.1% of respondents had witnessed at least one accident involving car-to-car collision (38.3%)
or car -to-motor cycle collision (28.4%); 13.4% of respondents reported a positive history of involvement
in accidents, 74.6% were passers-by while 11.9% were by-standers. 22.7% of respondents were trained in
first aid and handling of accident casualties. Only 14.4% of respondents handled accident casualties. Lifting casualty to sitting was the most common practice (51.7%) among the accident handlers. 79.3% of respondents who had handled accident casualties demonstrated incorrect practices. Handlers at accident scenes were mostly concerned about their safety (41.3%). All respondents (100%) who had handled casualties at any time demonstrated a positive attitude to handling casualties; however, more than half (69%) of respondents had fair knowledge about accident casualty handling.
Conclusions: Nigerian undergraduates demonstrate a positive attitude but have limited knowledge about
accident handling and lack appropriate skills in ensuring safety and preventing fatalities among accident
casualties.

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In press:

Volume 23 (1)

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Vincent Pol University in Lublin
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