Dentistry Today has published an article describing the emerging national emergency standards for dental offices. The article provides an overview of the educational requirements and physical items necessary to fulfill the needs of a dental patient in that time period between the identification of a medical problem and the arrival of outside assistance.
The emerging national standards are based on the The Six Links of Survival:
The educational requirements of the Six Links of Survival include:
Mock practice drills
The physical items include:
A written emergency plan
The emerging standards also cover the six P’s of preparation for a medical emergency:
Prevention: proper use of a medical history
Personnel: staffing requirements and task pre-assignments
Products: monitors, medications, and airway adjuncts
Protocols: office manuals to develop a planned response
Practice: ongoing training and review
Pharmaceuticals: having the proper medication on hand
Proposed National Emergency Standards include the physical items a dental office must have to properly respond to a medical emergency.
For example, all dental offices should keep the following medications on hand:
One bottle of 25 aspirin (81-mg chewable tablets)
One albuterol inhaler
Nitroglycerin, either 0.4-mg tablets or spray
Two 50-mg/cc ampules of diphenhydramine
Two 1-mg/cc (1:1000) ampules of epinephrine
One box of 10 ammonia inhalants
One 10-count vial of 15-mg glucose tablets
One tube of instant glucose
The free Sample Mock Drill from AAFDO will cover five of the six preparation items in this list and a checklist to ensure you have the physical items needed.
If you don’t know how to respond to an emergency, and you haven’t drilled your responses to perfection, then when a pressurized emergency happens for real (and it is not a question of if, but when), you are going to sink to the level of your training, and you may lose a patient’s life.
Are you ready to accept that responsibility? Treat the need for preparation seriously if you want to prevent failures at multiple levels by preparing yourself and your team and reducing the potential for a catastrophic event.