All dentists and clinical staff must have the training and ability to perform basic life support (BLS) techniques. It is strongly recommended that all dentists maintain current BLS certification (CPR Level HCP), and that all dental offices are equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED).
All dentists providing minimal and/or oral moderate sedation must, as a minimum, maintain current BLS certification (CPR Level HCP), which must include a hands-on component. All dentists providing oral moderate sedation to patients who are under 3 years of age OR under 15 kilograms must also maintain current Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification or current Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization (PEARS) certification, which must include a hands-on component. All dentists providing parenteral moderate sedation, deep sedation and/or general anesthesia must also maintain current Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification, which must include a hands-on component. All dentists providing parenteral moderate sedation, deep sedation and/or general anesthesia to patients who are under 12 years of age must also maintain current PALS certification, which must include a hands-on component.
CPR courses are offered across the province by numerous providers, including the Canadian Red Cross, Heart and Stroke Foundation, St. John Ambulance and others.
There are six basic drugs that must be included in the emergency kit of every dental office: oxygen, epinephrine, nitroglycerin, diphenhydramine, salbutamol inhalation aerosol and ASA (non-enteric coated).
The emergency drugs must have current dates and be stored in a readily identifiable and organized fashion (e.g. labelled trays or bags).
The following table presents the six basic drugs and their recommended dosages.
An E-size cylinder is required. The unit must be portable and have an appropriate regulator and flowmeter, as well as connectors, tubing and reservoir bag, to allow use of a full face mask for resuscitative ventilation.
All dentists and dental office staff must be prepared to recognize and treat adverse responses using appropriate emergency equipment and appropriate and current drugs when necessary. The College recommends your office have an emergency protocol. All office staff should be aware of this protocol and the procedures to follow when a medical emergency arises. Review the protocol at staff meetings so everyone is clear about who does what when a medical emergency occurs.