oa South African Family Practice - Kennis en hantering van slangbyte deur algemene praktisyns op die platteland van die Vrystaat en Noord-Kaap : original research



<i>Background:</i> The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge of general practitioners in the rural areas of the Free State and Northern Cape regarding snake bites and their treatment. <br><i>Methods:</i> Telephonic interviews using structured questionnaires were conducted with a random sample of 50 general practitioners from rural areas in each region. <br><i>Results:</i> Doctors in each region indicated that they knew the snakes in their region (Free State 93.6% and Northern Cape 91.8%), but only 17% of the Free State and 53.1% of the Northern Cape doctors felt that they knew enough about the treatment of snake bites. More than three quarters of the Northern Cape doctors have polyvalent antiserum available and 49% have used it, compared to only 40.4% of Free State respondents who have polyvalent antiserum and 34.0% who have used it. Northern Cape doctors administer it correctly more frequently. Only a quarter of respondents knew that polyvalent antiserum can be used after the expiry date. <br><i>Conclusion:</i> The knowledge and treatment of snake bites by general practitioners must be addressed through more emphasis in undergraduate training and continuing medical education.


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