Introduction. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition which requires immediate and accurate management. Available data from the literature show that the level of knowledge of anaphylaxis among nursing and emergency medical rescue students is still insufficient.
The aim of the study. This study assessed the knowledge of anaphylaxis, its treatment, with emphasis on the role of epinephrine, among the nursing and emergency medical rescue students from the three-year cycle programme of the Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw.
Materials and Methods. The prospective, cross-sectional survey study was conducted among second- and third-year Faculty of Health Science students. Nursing and emergency medical rescue students completed an anonymous MCQ questionnaire of 20 closed questions.
Results. 200 students (102 men, 51%), out of 488 eligible to the study (response rate=41%) completed a questionnaire. One hundred respondents were nursing students. A significantly higher proportion of nursing than emergency medical rescue students defined anaphylaxis properly (72% vs. 28%, p<0,0001). Intramuscular epinephrine was defined as the first line of therapy by 99% of nursing vs. 97% emergency medical rescue students (p=NS), but correct dose for adults was indicated only in 75% vs. 79% respectively (p=NS). Only 61% of the respondents knew the pharmacokinetics of epinephrine and 79% properly defined risk factors for anaphylaxis. As first-line equipment, 97% nursing vs. 94% emergency medical rescue students chose epinephrine autoinjector (p=NS).
Conclusions. Our study showed some lack of knowledge among surveyed students. Significant differences between the two study courses were observed in defining anaphylaxis, indication for epinephrine and its mechanism of action. Further support, such as appropriate training during studies and their completion, is needed for Nursing and Emergency medical rescue students.