Knowledge of Shaken Baby Syndrome among Hospital Nurses in Erbil City
Background and objectives: Shaken baby syndrome and pediatric abuse head trauma are the most common causes of mortality and morbidity due to physical child abuse. Nurses have a main role in parents’ education regarding child abuse prevention. This study aimed to assess nurses’ knowledge regarding shaken baby syndrome in Erbil City.
Methods: A descriptive study was conducted at postpartum units, the delivery room and the ward at the Maternity Teaching Hospital, and the inpatient and intensive care units at Rapareen Pediatric Teaching Hospital in 2017 in Erbil City. A purposive sample of 50 nurses was recruited to the study. The data collection was performed using a questionnaire for interviewing the study participants, and the data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
Results: The study findings revealed that the majority of the study participants were 19-25 years old and most did not have enough knowledge regarding the signs and symptoms of the shaken baby syndrome (irritability, lethargy, poor feeding breathing problems, uncontrollable crying, vomiting, bluish skin, changes in sleeping pattern, convulsions or seizures and unresponsiveness). Nurses also had insufficient knowledge about the risk factors of this condition. Only a quarter of nurses knew that domestic violence is a risk factor and less than a quarter of them recognized depression and substance abuse of the caregiver as a risk factor. Regarding knowledge of the complications, the study found that a quarter of nurses knew that brain damage, cerebral palsy and blindness are complications of the shaken baby syndrome.
Conclusions: Majority of nurses had poor knowledge about causes, signs, symptoms, risk factors and complications of the shaken baby syndrome.
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