The Western Cape is a province in South Africa – known for the port city of Cape Town – surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic oceans. The transport of high-risk neonates between neonatal intensive care units in the Western Cape of South Africa is performed by advanced life support (ALS) providers.The implications of this practice have not been documented. This study will evaluate the preparedness of ALS providers to undertake intensive care of critically ill neonates during interfacility transfers.
Data collection was performed using a questionnaire with a response rate of 81% (n=145). The data analysis encompassed descriptive statistics using tables and figures. Inferential statistics was done using the chi-square test with a significance reported for p<0.05. Reliability was determined using Cronbach’s alpha.
The respondents highlighted that their initial ALS training was not adequate to prepare them for managing critically ill neonates. This view was expressed by the greater majority (n=63, 43.4%) when asked about their combined neonatal theory and practical training notional hours of their curriculum which focussed on managing critically ill neonates.
There is an urgent need to improve the training programs of ALS providers with regards to neonatology. Numerous factors affecting the preparedness of ALS providers to manage critically ill neonates have been highlighted.
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