Vol 7, No 4 (2022)
Original article
Published online: 2022-11-25

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Firefighters’ knowledge of the knowledge of procedures for clearing the respiratory tract in an injured person with suspected infection with biological material (SARS-CoV-2) — a nationwide cross- -sectional study

Łukasz Dudziński1, Piotr Leszczyński2, Marcin Glinka3, Marek Marzec3, Michał Langner3, Mariusz Feltynowski4, Mariusz Panczyk5, Paulina Glinka5
Medical Research Journal 2022;7(4):284-292.

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge of the procedure for clearing the respiratory tract and updated qualified first aid (QFA) 1a and 2a procedures by firefighters serving in State Fire Service (SFS) rescue and firefighting units, and their knowledge of the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Material and methods: The cross-sectional study covered 19 408 firefighters (officers serving in SFS rescue and firefighting units from all over Poland). The study was conducted using the diagnostic survey method, the Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) technique consisting of a set of particulars regarding a specific officer and the appropriate medical part of the survey.

Results: In the group of 19,408 respondents, 99.31% were men (n = 19,275), while women accounted for 0.69% (n = 133; p < 0.001). The age of the respondents was in the range of 18–66 years, and the average age was 35.88 ± 7.14 years. The length of service was 11.95 ± 6.44 years. The knowledge of procedures 1a and 2a declared by the respondents [OR = 1.51 (95% CI: 1.22–1.86), x2 = 14.76], the ability to operate a suction unit [OR = 1.73 (95% CI: 1.44–2.08, x2 = 34.58)], the frequency of airway clearance training (p < < 0.001, x2 = 61.74). Only 15% of respondents used a suction unit on an injured person during operations.

Conclusions: The knowledge of firefighters in the subject matter covered by the analysis is diverse, some firefighters have additional experience and practice from working in health care units. Professional development in the field of QFA supplemented with procedures 1a and 2a may translate into a lower risk of infection associated with airway clearing in the era of the pandemic. There is a visible need for constant training of SFS officers in terms of medical activities to maintain the knowledge of firefighters at a high initial level.

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