oa Curationis - Renal unit practitioners' knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding the safety of unfractionated heparin for chronic haemodialysis : original research

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8577
  • E-ISSN: 2223-6279



Chronic haemodialysis for adult patients with end-stage kidney failure requires a patent extracorporeal circuit, maintained by anticoagulants such as unfractionated heparin (UFH). Incorrect administration of UFH has safety implications for patients.

Firstly, to describe renal practitioners' self-reported knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) regarding the safe use of UFH and its effects; secondly, to determine an association between KAP and selected independent variables.
A cross-sectional descriptive survey by self-administered questionnaire and non-probability convenience sampling was conducted in two tertiary hospital dialysis units and five private dialysis units in 2013.
The mean age of 74/77 respondents (96.1%), was 41.1 years. Most (41/77, 53.2%) had 0-5 years of renal experience. The odds of enrolled nurses having poorer knowledge of UFH than registered nurses were 18.7 times higher at a 95% Confidence Interval (CI) (1.9-187.4) and statistically significant ( = 0.013). The odds of delivering poor practice having ≤ five years of experience and no in-service education were 4.6 times higher at a 95% CI (1.4-15.6), than for respondents who had ≥ six years of experience ( = 0.014) and 4.3 times higher (95% CI 1.1-16.5) than for respondents who received in-service education ( = 0.032), the difference reaching statistical significance in both cases.
Results suggest that the category of the professional influences knowledge and, thus, safe use of UFH, and that there is a direct relationship between years of experience and quality of haemodialysis practice and between having in-service education and quality of practice.

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