Aug 19, 2019
March 28, 2019 - James Ton
Working in a dental office, we rarely think of sudden, life-threatening emergencies. And yet, dentists and dental hygienists are required to renew their CPR certification. In the United States, every 13 per 10,000 people each year suffer from cardiac arrest outside of hospital settings. At-risk patients such as the elderly, and those with medical complications, may undergo dental procedures which could aggravate pre-existing conditions. Additionally, patients may have adverse reactions to anesthesia or sedation. Of all the possible emergencies that may happen in a dental office, sudden cardiac arrest is among the most likely to result in the death of a patient.
When someone stops breathing or their heart stops beating, it takes only 4 to 6 minutes before lack of oxygen can result in brain damage or death. The main purpose of CPR is to restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart, extending the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage.
Treating sudden cardiac arrest is a coordinated effort within your office and staff in order to afford the victim the best chance of survival. Below are the steps of CPR from the American Red Cross to keep in mind if such an emergency should arise in your dental office:
Although research generally suggests only 10 to 20 percent of patients who receive CPR after experiencing cardiac arrest survive long enough to be discharged from a hospital, the main purpose of administering CPR is to give victims that fighting chance. Make sure your office has been properly trained as the more people who are certified, the higher the chance a life may be saved.
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