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The Evaluation of Tobacco use and Respiratory Symptoms and Findings of Senior Year Students in our Hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period

Author(s): Sule Cilekar, Aydin Balci

Objective

In this study, we aimed to evaluate the tobacco addiction of senior medical school students and senior vocational health academy students in our hospital. Another purpose was to observe the changes in the tobacco addiction attitudes and behaviors of these students during the COVID-19 pandemic period. We evaluated the respiratory system examinations of these students in detail. By detecting their respiratory system pathologies, we postponed active work in the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic period. The students in the risk group returned to their education after their vaccinations were completed.

Methods

Three hundred and twenty-seven consecutive students were enrolled in the study. Of these students, 127 were senior-year vocational health academy students. Of the students, 165 (69%) were women and 72 (30%) were men. Fifty-four of the students (16%) were using tobacco products, 258 (78%) were not. Cigarette was the most commonly used tobacco product, being smoked by 59 participants (80%). In respiratory system examinations, rales and rhonci were heard in 3 and 18 students, respectively. Bronchiectasis was detected in 3 students.

Results

The tobacco addiction rate in potential healthcare professionals is almost the same as in society. During the pandemic period, this rate was high and seem like it was not affected by the pandemic. COVID disease is more severe when there is an underlying pulmonary disease. For this reason, students with respiratory system pathology were not actively employed in the hospital until their vaccinations were completed.

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