Knowledge, attitudes and practices of emergency care practitioners in the management of common dental emergencies in the eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal.




Common dental emergencies, Emergency Care Practitioners, Emergency Medical Management, Knowledge, attitudes and practices


It is essential to provide timeous and appropriate treatment in cases of dental emergencies. First responders such as Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) usually provide this prehospital care. The successful management of casualties experiencing common dental
emergencies is dependent on two fundamental factors; the first responder's knowledge and ability to render the appropriate level and standard of medical care, and secondly, the time that expires between the onset of the incident and the initiation of definitive emergency medical treatment. Delayed or inappropriate management can have long term physiological and psychological effects.
This was an exploratory and descriptive study, using quantitative and qualitative methods to determine the knowledge and attitudes of Emergency Care Practitioners of the eThekwini District of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in the management of dental emergencies.
The results revealed that Emergency Care Practitioners had inadequate knowledge, training, and understanding of the management of common dental emeregncies by ECPs. There was limited initial training, with a significant portion of the participants (44.9%, p 0.233) having not received any training at all in the management of orofacial traumas, and with a significant majority (78.3%,
< 0.001) having no further education and training. Most ECPs indicated a desire to receive such training. This study indicated that ECPs lacked confidence in managing dental emergencies, which highlighted a need for specific dental awareness and training programs
to further empower ECPs in the management of such emergencies.


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Author Biography

Tufayl Ahmed Muslim, Academic Leader and Lecturer, Discipline of Dentistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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How to Cite

Reddy, L., Moodley, I., & Muslim, T. A. (2022). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of emergency care practitioners in the management of common dental emergencies in the eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal. South African Dental Journal, 77(07), 394–399.