• Stephen W. Harden

OMG! My Patient is Not Breathing

Members of the dental team, including hygienists, have a duty of care to provide an effective and safe service to their patients. Dental patient safety is paramount.


A hygienist's patient could collapse on the premises at any time and create a dental medical emergency. This may happen whether the patient has received treatment or not. It is therefore essential that all hygienists must be trained in dental emergency preparation, including resuscitation.


Training is not enough, you must also possess up-to-date evidence of your capability to respond to a dental medical emergency.


The ADA estimates there are about 3000 life-threatening emergencies in dental offices every year. (Note 1). Depending on your age group, your practice is more likely to experience a patient emergency than you are to die from COVID.


Are you, as a Hygienist, prepared for the inevitable?


Unfortunately, each year there are reports of dental office personnel, including hygienists, not managing an emergency effectively. (Note 2) And, when challenged by legal or regulatory authorities, they couldn't document the evidence of their emergency readiness training.


Don't let this be you.


Here are 2 free resources to help you prepare, and document that preparation, for the inevitable emergencies you will see in your career.


1. Free Emergency Preparation Checklist


Here is a free checklist from AAFDO that you can use to assess your readiness for a dental patient emergency. Once complete, you'll know for sure if you're prepared, and if not, exactly what you need to do to get prepared.



The only thing that should be a surprise is the emergency, your response to it should proceed like clockwork. Your preparation determines your outcome. Download this checklist today.


2. Free Emergency Training Resource


This free training resource - The Six Links of Survival - prepares the hygienist with critical information about:

  • Emergency Education

  • Patient Risk Factors & how to address them

  • Emergency Training Requirments

  • Mock Emergency Drills

  • Emergency Medications

  • Emergency Equipment



Will the next patient emergency, when it happens, be a career-defining or career-ending medical emergency? If you don’t have the knowledge and skill to flawlessly respond to an emergency due to inadequate training and preparation, you never “rise to the occasion,” rather you will sink to the level of your training. Download this document and ensure you have the training you need.


Get this free resource today!


You can further risk-proof your career and protect the safety of your dental patients by taking ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT training designed specifically for Hygienists - Advanced Life Support for Dental Hygienists (ALSDH)




The ALSDH course provides...

  • 5 online training modules worth 15 hours of Continuing Education credit

  • 24 medical emergency treatment algorithms worth another 24 hours of CE credit if you conduct the mock drills

  • Emergency Drug Kit Inventory Checklist

  • Medical Emergency Plan

  • Pre-Training Checklist

  • Post-Training Checklist

ALSDH training includes:​

  • Sedation Anesthesia Management

  • Emergency Medication Competency (Adult)

  • Pediatric Emergency Medication Competency

  • Anaphylaxis Competency

  • Automated External Defibrillator Competency

  • 15 hours of Continuing Education Credit for online training


Why Dental Hygienists Need Advanced Life Support Training

Dental office medical emergencies happen every day across the country and no Hygienist is immune from the possibility of a medical emergency.

Existing courses such as Basic Life Support (BLS), although a critical foundation for handling emergencies do not completely prepare the Hygienist to respond effectively to a medical emergency.


Bottom line?

ALSDH prepares Hygienists to responsibly play their critical role in patient safety.


Risk Proof Your Career Today!


3 views0 comments