Medical emergencies requiring first aid at home: A population-based survey study
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Cambridge University Press
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Background: Most medical emergencies requiring first-aid occur at home. Little is known about the prevalence of these medical emergencies. Objective: The objective of this study is to describe medical emergencies occurring at people's homes requiring first aid; characteristics, burdens and impact on functional outcome, and to address the national public knowledge and practice of first aid. Method: A confidential, cross-sectional survey, primarily based on the 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross first aid guidelines, was conducted among adults ( > 18 years) from 12 educational centers, under the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic affairs, State of Kuwait. Results: A total of 3000 self-administered questionnaires were distributed from September 16 2019 to November 30, 2019. The response rate was 34% (n = 1033 participants) of which 1% (n = 11) were partially answered questionnaires leaving 1022 questionnaires for valid statistical analysis. The prevalence of medical emergencies was 118.5 out of 100000 per year and the level of public knowledge was 19%. Medical emergencies were more likely to occur in Hawali province (49%, n = 149), women were more likely to encounter medical emergencies (78%, n = 238). Victims above 18 years of age were more likely to experience hypoglycemia (39%, n = 55) and children were more likely to suffer from hypoglycemia (19%, n = 22) or burns (17%, n = 20). Compliance with First aid guidelines was seen in hypoglycemia (31%, n = 44) but lacking in burn incidents (44%, n = 15). Participants called the ambulance in seizures (50%, n = 13), with 62% of medical emergencies requiring attendance at a health-care facility and 29% requiring hospital admission. Of the victims, 15% missed school or a day of work, and 25% had impaired functional outcomes. Conclusion: Medical emergencies occurring at home are relatively common in Kuwait, and public training on first aid is low. Kuwait has unique medical emergencies, with hypoglycemia, seizures and burns being the most frequent emergencies that occur at home. These emergencies cause a burden on the health-care system with a quarter of them having negative impact on the victim's functional outcome.