Managing Post-Burn Pruritus? – A Review of Current Knowledge among Non-Burn-Specialist Doctors in Delta State, Nigeria
Introduction: Pruritus (itching) is a common complication of burn injuries that results in extreme discomfort. There is no consensus on the treatment worldwide but there are generally accepted methods of management. While many burn care specialists in Nigeria are conversant with these methods, most non-burn care specialists and general practitioners are unaware of a significant number of these methods.
This study aims to assess the knowledge and practice of non-burn specialists, who also manage various degrees of burn injuries in our environment, with a view to finding out the deficiencies and educating them and the general public on these modalities for the overall good of patients.
Methods: A structured questionnaire was designed and 82 doctors returned the completed questionnaires and these were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 20.
Results: A vast majority of the Doctors (85.4%) used anti-histamines as first-line treatment while 4.9% would use Ondansetron. Whereas 43.9% of the respondents could not give an answer about the second-line treatment they would give for pruritus, 36.6% of them would give anti-histamines as in first-line treatment and 9.8% would give Gabapentin as second-line treatment while another 9.8% would use other medications not specified.
Conclusion: Many doctors who are not burn-care specialists do not fully understand the enormity of the problem of post-burn pruritus and consequently do not offer adequate care to patients. There is need for more education and re-orientation.
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