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Medical emergency knowledge assessment in a Malaysian special needs agency

Introduction: In any medical emergencies, administration of first aid is crucial in saving lives especially when it comes to people with special needs as the consequences of a crisis to them is drastically amplified. As no credible data was found on the implementation and practice of standardized first aid specifically in agencies of special needs individuals in Malaysia, this has led to further investigation Objective: To assess the knowledge level of medical emergency procedures among staff and volunteers of an agency catering to the needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

Method: A questionnaire titled “Assessment of Knowledge of Medical Emergency Procedures” was developed to assess the level of knowledge of medical emergency procedures or first aid among the staff and volunteers of Persatuan Kanak-kanak Istimewa Kajang (PKIK). The questionnaire was administered before and after a first aid workshop among 14 participants (n=14). The data obtained were analyzed.

Result: The median score for the total in the pre-questionnaire was 99 (68.8%), while the median score in the post-questionnaire was 123.5 (85.2%). Hence, there was an overall improvement of 24.5 (16.9%) in the median score before and after the first aid workshop. A high standard error (SE=3.870) in the pre-questionnaire showed that knowledge level was not consistent in each staff overall. After conducting the workshop however, the standard error reduced (SE=2.876) which indicate increased standardization in first aid knowledge amongst PKIK staff and volunteers.There was also an increase in the median score for the seizure and asthma subsection by as much as 7.5 (16.9%) and 6 (24%) respectively. Moreover, there was an increase in the mean scores for the unconsciousness 3.36 (14%) and injuries 5.42 (15.5%) subsection. Therefore, it can be concluded that there was an overall increase in knowledge among the participants after the first aid workshop is given as compared to before it.

Conclusion: The existing level of awareness of medical health emergencies among the staff in PKIK was quite high however with large variation in the knowledge level among the participants. The level of awareness increased significantly and the variation in the knowledge was reduced. A consistent level of first aid knowledge in each staff is ideal for adequate emergency care for special needs children in medical emergencies

Author(s): Martin Soosai Francis Sinnappar, Teoh Eu Vin1, Venushia Chandran, Phoebe Lim Xue Yee, Jaya Vejayan, David Chin Hoong Weng

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