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Preparing for office emergencies

Pre-session course focuses on team management

September 03, 2012

San Francisco—Hands-on continuing education courses are being offered for the first time at the Annual Session to enhance dentists’ medical emergency preparedness.

Save a life: Dr. Ralph Burgess (left) and Dr. Scott Stanke work to resuscitate 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, from 7 a.m.-noon (course 4110) and from 1-6 p.m. (course 4111).

Capacity has been increased to permit additional dentists and their dental teams to take the course, which is for all dentists providing adult local anesthesia, minimal sedation and/or moderate enteral sedation. The sessions emphasize team training in emergency airway/ventilation rescue, administration of inhalation and intramuscular emergency management drugs, and quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the pulseless patient.

The course is provided in two parts, and participants must take both Part 1 and Part 2. Dentists are required to have certification in American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, complete Part 1 of the course on ADA CE Online and bring a copy of their verification letter to Part 2. Part 2 takes place in San Francisco and involves high-fidelity human simulators with participants working in a realistic environment to manage emergency scenarios.

Dental team members taking the course are required to have certification in AHA BLS HP but do not have to take the didactic portion online.

“Special emphasis is given to the workshop’s task training review and team emergency scenario experiences involving airway rescue and management using proper bag mask ventilation and the supraglottic laryngeal mask advanced airway which optimizes ventilation for patients with obesity, bronchospasm, emphysema and/or receiving chest compressions during CPR,” said Dr. James C. Phero, professor of clinical anesthesiology, pediatrics and surgery at the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center and faculty dentist anesthesiologist at University Hospital in Cincinnati.

“The focus on team high fidelity simulation education via office emergency scenarios provides an effective means for reviewing and managing critical office medical emergencies,” he added.

The ADA Foundation provided a grant to the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology Anesthesia Research Foundation to develop the course to focus on optimizing monitoring, airway management and team crisis resource management as a complement to training in BLS HP. Traditionally, BLS HP has served as the foundation for dentists administering local anesthesia, minimal sedation and moderate enteral sedation. Advanced Cardiac Life Support management, which involves IV use of emergency drugs, is provided for the IV moderate sedation providers registered for these sessions.

For information or to register, visit