If a patient dies or suffers harm in your office as a result of a poorly handled emergency, it is almost a certainty that a lawsuit will be brought against you. Once legal proceedings are started, you'll answer interrogatory questions, followed by a deposition. There, the trial attorney you face will ask you many questions, including but not limited to:
1. What is your training in medical or sedation emergency preparedness?
2. What is your staff’s training in medical or sedation emergency preparedness?
3. Do you have Basic Life Support training? Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support training? Pediatric Advanced Life Support training? What about your staff?
4. Have you attended a medical or sedation emergency course? If so, when?
5. Do you have all of the necessary emergency medications? Are they in date? May we see where you keep them?
6. May we see your automated external defibrillator (AED)?
7. What kind of training have you and your staff had with the AED? (Note: If you don’t own an AED but did take a Basic Life Support class, you will not be able to say you didn’t think an AED was important. A thousand people die of sudden cardiac arrest every day. The only treatment is the use of an AED.)
8. May we see copies of the documentation that you use during a medical or sedation emergency?
9. What is your Medical Emergency Plan?
10. Do you know to call 911 during an emergency?
11. Did you call 911 during this emergency?
12. If so, when did you decide to do so?
13. How long did it take emergency medical services to arrive? What were you and your staff doing during that time?
14. May we see your training log outlining your medical and sedation emergency drills?
15. How often do you perform them?
16. Which medical and sedation emergencies are you ready for in this office? Please list them.
17. Which medications did you use to treat the medical or sedation emergency? Please explain each one.
18. Who inspected your office to ensure that your medical and sedation emergency preparedness was in place?
19. May we see the inspection report?
20. How often is your office inspected? When did these inspections take place?
Your staff, your state board, local law enforcement, the justice system, and most importantly, your patients and their families expect you and your facility to be fully prepared for emergencies when they arrive for their visit.
Are you prepared? If your palms got sweaty, or your stomach churned as you envisioned answering these 20 questions under oath - knowing that your livelihood depended on the answers, you might not be ready for an emergency in your office.
If not, click here to download a free sample mock emergency drill from AAFDO and start getting prepared today. The only thing that should be a surprise is the emergency, your response to it should proceed like clockwork. Do to today.