Dentists should always comply with their state sedation regulations, as well as the protocols taught by accredited continuing education providers.
1. CHECK all of your monitoring and emergency equipment this week to make sure that they are up to code and in working order, including your pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, capnograph, automated external defibrillator, and supplemental oxygen delivery system.
2. NOTE the expiration dates of all your oral sedation medications, emergency drug kit medications, AED pads, and AED battery. Maintain weekly checks and documentation of the oxygen levels in your emergency tanks. Place orders this week for any items within 90 days of expiration, and restore emergency oxygen tanks to full pressure.
3. CONFIRM that your office is equipped with an intraosseous infusion system to help you run an IV line in an emergency. This is especially important if you do not have IV certification or are required to have such equipment (e.g. if you are ACLS certified). This equipment provides immediate vascular access for delivering emergency life-savings drugs. Review procedures for using the system.
4. RUN an emergency drill this week and schedule routine practice drills for the months ahead; every six months is recommended. This is a team-wide effort and everyone should participate. Review the locations of all emergency drugs and equipment, and make sure they are easily accessible.
5. REVIEW your patient intake procedures with all team members—specifically for all scheduled sedation dentistry patients. Always cross-reference your patient's medications, supplements, vitamins, and herbs with the sedative and anesthetic medications you plan to administer.
Use a comprehensive program, such as Lexi-Comp® drug software. If there are any doubts, confer with your patient's physician ahead of any treatment and document the conversation.
6. ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and CPR/BLS training is important for everyone on your team, so be certain they’ve taken the courses. Every state requires dentists and most staff at least to have CPR/BLS, and many states require ACLS for sedation. Sign up for a refresher course too; they are always beneficial. Also, make sure everyone in the office knows how to operate a pulse oximeter, capnograph, and AED.
7. CONTINUE your sedation education by registering yourself and team members for refresher courses and advanced training from a trusted and reliable educator. Even those who regularly treat patients with sedation dentistry will benefit from reviewing the very latest safety and pharmacological insights as well as previous course materials.
This article originally was posted online as part of the 10th Annual Sedation Safety Week program, which was held March 19th to March 23rd.
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheets™: The ideal chairside resources to allow dentists to have up-to-date information at hand when they need to make important clinical decisions.
- ACLS Certification – Next course takes place in Chicago, May 18th and 19th.
- State-of-the-Art Dental Safety Equipment and Supplies, including monitoring, nitrous oxide, emergency, IV, and patient care.
- For State-by-State Dental Sedation Regulations