What is the best way to successfully handle a medical emergency in the dental office? Some might say the answer is to act fast when the taxing situation arises. Some might say the solution is to work diligently when a patient is in distress. What’s our answer? First and foremost, we believe the best way to swiftly handle a medical emergency in the dental office is to be prepared.
An article written by Daniel A. Haas (DDS, PhD) and published in The Journal of the American Dental Association described that “a medical emergency can occur in any dental office, and managing it successfully requires preparation.”1 We could not agree more. With August 7th being National Lighthouse Day, we thought we would shed some light on the importance of being prepared with LIGHTHOUSE medical emergency kits.
The occurrence of medical emergencies in the dental clinic, although infrequent, are not rare. A survey conducted by Fast et al. involving 4000 dentists reported that, on average, a dentist will experience 7.5 medical emergencies during a span of 10 years.2 Tackling the topic of medical emergencies can seem daunting, but luckily, there are many actions that can be taken to ensure your clinic is prepared.
In addition to proper education and training, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) outlines that each clinic is to include six up-to-date emergency drugs. Those drugs being: oxygen, aspirin, nitroglycerin, salbutamol, epinephrine and diphenhydramine. Additionally, these medications must be housed in a labeled and organized manner, making them easily recognizable and ready to use at all times.3
Conveniently, a LIGHTHOUSE medical emergency kit serves as your one-stop-shop for handling a medical emergency. Not only do these kits include the necessary medications and tools to help save a life, but they are also impeccably organized and labeled for quick and easy use. Medical emergencies tend to happen when we least expect them to, and LIGHTHOUSE kits put the minds of both the dental professional and the patient to at ease. After all, when it comes to patient safety, you can never be too prepared.
- Haas, D. A. (2010). Preparing dental office staff members for emergencies: developing a basic action plan. Journal of the American Dental Association, 141(1), 8-13. doi: 10.14219.
- Fast, T. B., Martin, M. D., & Ellis, T. M. (1986). Emergency preparedness: a survey of dental practitioners. Journal of the American Dental Association, 112(4), 499-501. doi: 10.14219.
- Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Information on Medical Emergencies. Retrieved from https://www.rcdso.org/en-ca/rcdso-members/practice-advisory-service/information-on-medical-emergencies