Original Research

Renal unit practitioners’ knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding the safety of unfractionated heparin for chronic haemodialysis

Debra Ockhuis, Una Kyriacos
Curationis | Vol 38, No 1 | a1447 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i1.1447 | © 2015 Debra Ockhuis, Una Kyriacos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 August 2014 | Published: 16 September 2015

About the author(s)

Debra Ockhuis, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Una Kyriacos, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: 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.

Objectives: 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.

Method: 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.

Results: 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 (P = 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 (P = 0.014) and 4.3 times higher (95% CI 1.1–16.5) than for respondents who received in-service education (P = 0.032), the difference reaching statistical significance in both cases.

Conclusion: 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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