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Does your dentist have a defibrillator?

Dental Practices nationwide must follow very specific guidelines set by the GDC (General Dental Council) about the equipment and practices within in their establishment. These guidelines range from obvious specifics

Dental Practices nationwide must follow very specific guidelines set by the GDC (General Dental Council) about the equipment and practices within in their establishment.

These guidelines range from obvious specifics such as dentistry equipment, right down to resuscitation equipment and first aid techniques; any professional and reputable Dentist will adhere to these exacting standards.

Did you know that it is a minimum requirement that a Dental Practice is a fully operational AED (Automated External Defibrillator)?

According to the GDC there is an expectance for a practice to follow the national guidance issued by the Resuscitation Council to the GDC.

“We expect a practice to follow the national guidance issued by the Resuscitation Council. Immediate access to an automated external defibrillator (AED) in an emergency increases the chances of survival of the patient.” “A practice could be in a difficult position from a medico-legal point of view if a patient came to harm during dental treatment due to the lack of emergency medicines and equipment.” The list of mandatory equipment includes and AED and Adhesive Defibrillator Pads.

Why is it so essential for a Dental Practice to have an AED?

Cardiac Arrest can strike anyone at any time, immediate access to an AED in the event of a Cardiac Arrest massively increases the chance of survival. Statistics show that to 30,000 people suffer from a cardiac arrest a year. The survival rate is up to an encouraging 74%, with the effective use of an AED.

In an environment like the dentist’s the risk of cardiac arrest can be increased further.

Although it’s unlikely, the use of anaesthesia when removing a tooth or filling one can cause cardiac arrest. Studies have shown that many of the cardiac arrests suffered while under anaesthetic is usually due to a preoperative and pre-existing condition- that could well be unknown. An allergic reaction to anaesthesia can also lead to cardiac arrest.

Stress is also a factor why dentists should be prepared for a potential cardiac arrest. Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience even for adults! No one really enjoys anyone poking around their mouth but some people have a real phobia of the experience which can cause a severe amount of emotional stress. High levels of stress hormone being released into the blood stream can knock the heartbeat out of its natural rhythm. This happens most often when the heart lapses into “ventricular fibrillation” and its bottom chambers start beating at a very high speed – this is a cardiac arrest.

Would you think to ask your dentist if they have an AED? Probably not, but maybe you should next time you’re there?

If you’re a dental practitioner reading this and are worried that your practice may not be compliant with guidelines, get in touch and Almas can advise as to suitable models and service solutions with a range of flexible payment plans. To contact us please call 0844 13 999 39  or alternatively you can click here to send a confidential email.