Medical emergencies are a common phenomenon happening in dental offices. The reason to design dental office emergency protocol is to guide and help dental professionals when responding to dental medical emergencies effectively and safely. It is the duty of dental practisers to care about the services provided. Meanwhile, a dental office emergency protocol is discussed below.
The services should be safe and effective by all means. For better and satisfactory service delivery in a dental medical emergency, some guidelines must be observed in conjunction with other practices such as clinical governance, training, risk management, among others.
Guidelines from the General Dental Council
- At least two persons must be present in a dental office emergency working area. The role of these two persons is to handle the emergency that can happen during a dental treatment. The second person can be even the receptionist in case the other trained medics are not present at that particular time.
- Team approach development where every member of the staff knows their individual responsibilities. All staff members in the dental emergency office should clearly know their roles during the time of emergency. This also applies to unregistered members with the GDC.
- Training to all staff members in a dental office to clearly recognize and manage all major life-threatening cases. Training must be from qualified medical bodies to all staff members who will be involved in dental emergencies practices. They are further supposed to be prepared at any time to deal with frequent simulations on how to deal with emergency cases.
- Simulated emergency events demonstration. Such demonstration enables the staff members to have a clue of how a real emergency case would be. The demonstration reduces confusions that would arise if the staff have not in the past handled an emergency case.
All dental office staff is recommended to familiarize with resources available in the office. For instance
- Emergency telephone numbers:911, ambulance, physician
- Emergency drugs: There are two categories vis: a) injectable,b) non-injectable:
- Emergency equipment: oxygen delivery system, large bore suction stubs, needles, and syringes, oropharyngeal airway, Chemstrips among others.
Some of the most frequent dental medical emergencies are:
- vasovagal syncope (63%)
- angina (13%)
- hypoglycemia (11%)
Vasovagal syncope is reported to be the most common dental medical emergency.