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Management of Pediatric Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office

Course Number: 391

Emergency Equipment and Drugs

Trained office personal must have the appropriate emergency equipment and drugs available to render definitive treatment when indicated. All staff members should know where emergency equipment and drugs are located. A specific area or box can be prepared with the equipment and drugs readily available to be transported to the site of the emergency.

There are emergency kits produced commercially for sale to dental and medical professionals, including crash cart (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

It is essential to have all the medications and equipment readily available in the emergency kit. For this purpose, the contents in the crash cart are marked and labelled. For example, the top two drawers consist of emergency medicines, including oral medications (Figure 2) and parenteral medications (Figure 3), and the bottom drawers comprises of intubation (Figure 4) and airway equipment (Figure 5). Some of the emergency kits may contain equipment and drugs of questionable value in a dental office setting because of limited medical training of the dentist and staff. For example, an emergency drug kit containing IV resuscitative drugs would be of negligible value to an emergency treatment provider with unfamiliarity in IV placement whether due to lack of training or not having the opportunity to practice the technique due to rare exposure to dental office emergencies. A laryngoscope is not an essential piece of emergency equipment for those not trained in intubation technique.

Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Figure 3.

Figure 3.

Figure 4.

Figure 4.

Figure 5.

Figure 5.

Office personnel should be able to provide basic management of airway, breathing and circulation. This can be achieved with basic medical equipment and essential drugs that dentists without advanced life support training can feel comfortable using. For the Dentist and staff members involved in the provision of sedation or general anesthesia, it is imperative to have adequate training in providing pediatric advanced life support in case of emergency. In this case, the emergency kit should contain all the medications and equipment to effectively handle such emergencies.