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Dealing with sedation, anesthesia emergencies

Pre-session CE course to be offered in San Francisco

May 07, 2012

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

San Francisco—Up to now, ADA members have had only two opportunities to attend a hands-on continuing education course specially designed to help dentists deal with medical emergencies that may occur with local anesthesia and minimal and moderate sedation. This year, the course is making its first appearance at the ADA Annual Session.

First 10 minutes: Dr. Anjoo Ely “rescues” a patient during the 2010 course at ADA Headquarters.

Recognize and Manage Complications During Minimal and Moderate Sedation is offered two times on Wednesday, Oct. 17, during the ADA Annual Session in San Francisco: from 7 a.m.-noon (course 4110) and from 1-6 p.m. (course 4111).

“The course will allow doctors to greatly enhance their emergency preparedness in their practice settings,” said Dr. Michael D. Edwards, chair of the Council on Dental Education and Licensure’s Committee on Anesthesiology. “All dentists would benefit from the emergency skills learned from this course, whether or not they perform sedation in their office.”

The workgroup that developed the course has refined the content based on feedback from the sessions offered at ADA Headquarters in 2010-11.

Participants are required to complete Part 1 prior to Annual Session on ADA CE Online ( and bring a copy of the verification letter showing completion when they arrive for Part 2 at Annual Session. Part 2 involves high-fidelity human simulators, with participants working in a realistic environment to manage emergency scenarios that focus on diagnosis and management of patients during the critical 10 minutes that save a life. Task training sessions cover oxygenation/ventilation, airway adjuncts, monitoring and drugs.

The ADA Foundation provided a grant to develop the course in order to focus on proper monitoring and airway management and complement Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which is the generally accepted training for dentists administering minimal and moderate sedation. The Anesthesia Research Foundation of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology received the grant to develop the course.

“This course represents the commitment of the ADA to patient safety and maintaining the right and privilege of educationally qualified dentists to administer sedation to their patients,” said Dr. Morton Rosenberg, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and associate professor of anesthesia at the Tufts University Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, and a member of the ADSA workgroup that developed the course. “Being able to offer this at Annual Session will broaden its appeal and hopefully begin to spread it around to other venues.”

Dr. James Phero, professor of clinical anesthesiology, pediatrics and surgery at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center College of Medicine and a faculty dentist anesthesiologist at The University Hospital in Cincinnati, was the director of the 2010-11 courses at the ADA.

“The initial pilot and proof-of-concept courses given during the design process provided the foundation for a very robust offering,” said Dr. Phero. “The course has always been designed to be dynamic and respond to changing advances and practice patterns.”

Attendance is limited for the Annual Session course. For information or to register, visit