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Medical Emergencies and Life Support

EmergenciesIn this section:

A medical emergency, although rare, can happen at any time in a dental practice. Therefore, it is important that all members of the dental team know their role in dealing with such an emergency.

Training in the management of medical emergencies is a practice inspection requirement and is a highly recommended subject of verifiable continuing professional development (CPD)recommended by the General Dental Council (GDC).

This section provides a brief overview of the training that dental teams are required to undertake, lists of the equipment and drugs required, and details of the general requirements to prepare for dealing effectively with medical emergencies in dental practice.

Brief details of how to manage medical emergencies in dental practice are provided in the SDCEP guidance Drug Prescribing For Dentistry.The Resuscitation Council (UK) has published guidance on quality standards for the aspects of cardiopulmonary resuscitation practice and training relevant to primary dental care. More-detailed information about how to recognise and treat other medical emergencies in dental practice is provided in the Prescribing in Dental Practice section of the British National Formulary (BNF).  In 2015 the National Dental Advisory Committee (NDAC) published Emergency Drugs and Equipment in Primary Dental Care,an update to its 1999 publication Emergency Dental Drugs. A Medical Emergencies in the Dental Practice poster (PDF) developed by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust summarises the symptoms and management of medical emergencies. A Medical Emergencies Revision video has been developed  by NHS Education for Scotland detailing emergency equipment and drugs and their use when dealing with medical emergencies in the dental practice.