July 2012, Volume 8, Issue 7
Published by AEGIS Communications
Be Prepared in an Emergency
HealthFirst’s SM-Series Emergency Medical Kit
No dental professional likes to consider the possibility that a patient could have a medical emergency in the dental chair. However, reactions to medication, unknown allergies, or a previously undiagnosed disease can all lead to incidents that require emergency care.1 HealthFirst, a company aligned with industry and opinion leaders in emergency medicine, has created an innovative, complete, all-encompassing emergency aid kid for dental professionals—the SM-Series Emergency Medical Kit (Figure 1).
Being aware of and knowing how to use all of the tools and medications that are needed in a true medical emergency are crucial. The SM-Series Emergency Medical Kit was designed for the general dental practice seeking to be compliant and prepared for medical emergencies.
The contents of the SM-Series kits meet today’s standard of care, are compliant with many state regulations, and are consistent with recommendations from the American Dental Association and the HealthFirst Independent Medical Advisory Board. The medications and devices found in the SM-Series Kits are quick, safe, and easy to administer. Included in each kit is:
• Epinephrine auto-injectors and back-up ampules
• Albuterol inhaler
• Nitroglycerin pump spray or tablets
• Ammonia inhalants
• CPR pocket mask
• Bag-valve mask resuscitator (optional)
• Dedicated oxygen (optional)
For sedation emergencies, there are additional medications available for the kit, such as a benzodiazepine reversal agent and an opiate reversal agent.
Many dental offices struggle with ensuring the medication in their emergency kits have not passed their expiration dates, because the kit is not something that the dental team uses every day. HealthFirst has created a system that helps dental professionals stay on top of their emergency supplies, and make sure their stock has not passed its expiration date. The Keep-Me-Current-Automatic medication expiration tracking and refill service included with all SM-Series Emergency Kits tracks, free-of-charge, the contents of the kit and will automatically ship replacement medications just before they expire. This service reduces costs, maximizes medication shelf life, ensures emergency readiness, and gives the dental team more time to focus on the patients.
Don Cohen, DDS, a member of HealthFirst’s Advisory Board and an expert on practice compliance, says, "It is imperative that every clinician have an emergency medical response plan in place so that every member of their team knows their roles during an emergency. It is extremely important that each member of the dental team is trained in Basic Life Support so that they know how to perform CPR and provide rescue breathing. Also, in addition to an up-to-date emergency medical kit, I recommend that every dental practice keep on hand portable positive-pressure emergency oxygen in an E-size cylinder, a bag-valve-mask resuscitator, an AED, and train the dental team how to use them."
As Cohen notes, portable emergency oxygen is a crucial component to a dental office’s emergency response plan. Cohen also suggests that when considering purchasing oxygen, one should ensure that the tank is portable so that oxygen can be easily taken to the patient. A bag-valve mask resuscitator adds positive pressure capability, which is needed for resuscitation. An E-size cylinder will provide oxygen for 30 minutes. Portable oxygen with a mobile cart can be acquired from HealthFirst as a supplement to the SM-Series emergency medical kits, or as a stand-alone purchase (Figure 2).
The challenges for today’s dental professionals are significant and the need for proper education and tools has never been more important. From essential instruments, devices, and supplies, to advanced services, training, and technology, HealthFirst’s mission is to guarantee the right programs and products are there, whenever and wherever clinicians need them.
1. Haas DA. Management of medical emergencies in the dental office: Conditions in each country, the extent of treatment by the dentist. Anesth Prog. 2006;53(1):20-24.
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The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry.