Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are an important public health problem. It is estimated that approximately 1 out of every 20 hospitalized patients will contract an HCAI. The risk is substantial not only to patients but also to healthcare workers, who may contract deadly blood-borne infectious diseases. Hence, it is essential for healthcare professionals to have adequate knowledge regarding infection prevention practices (IPPs) to reduce the burden of these illnesses among patients seeking care. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 268 medical students at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. Information regarding important IPPs such as hand hygiene (HH), needle-stick injuries (NSIs), and standard precautions (SPs) was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. The collected information was analyzed using SPSS v.11. Fisher's exact test was used to test the association between variables of interest. Results: Overall, knowledge levels regarding HH were low in aspects such as healthcare workers' hands as sources of infection (40%) and the minimum time needed to apply hand rubs (45.7%), whereas knowledge levels were high in aspects such as indications for using HH. Regarding NSI prevention, knowledge levels were low in aspects such as activities with the highest NSI risk (56%). However, knowledge levels were high in relation to SPs. Conclusion: The knowledge levels regarding infection practices were not adequate among the participants, particularly in the case of hand hygiene methods. Other important aspects, such as needle-stick injuries and use of standard precautions, were better understood, although many aspects still require improvement. These findings suggest the need to consider strengthening the training related to IPPs as a separate entity in the existing curriculum.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases