Basic Life Support Training For Dental Fraternity
According to a study aimed at finding the prevalence of medical emergencies in dental clinics, it was found that more than two-thirds of dentists face at least one medical emergency in a year. The study also pointed out that less than half of the dentists felt confident to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The survey clearly outlines the pressing need for imparting knowledge of basic lifesaving skills to every dentist, in order to recognise, assess and manage a potentially life-threatening situation until the patient is placed under expert medical supervision.
Causes of Medical Emergency
Studies reveal that fear, anxiety, pain and/or discomfort may predispose some patients to emergency situations such as hypotension and epileptic seizures which may eventually lead to cardiac arrest. Statistics suggest that 28% of emergencies occur during root canal therapy and 37% during extraction procedures.
It is also found that certain medical conditions such as root tip infection also increase the risk of heart diseases. While treating such patients, it is likely that a dentist may have to deal with a cardiac arrest in her clinic.
How BLS Training Can Help Save Lives
BLS training prepares an individual in first-aid resuscitation which can be given to a patient in emergency situations, especially during a cardiac arrest. It is an integral part of emergency resuscitative care that aims to retain sufficient ventilation and circulation until the victim is placed under professional medical care.
According to sources, fifty percent of the people who suffer acute heart attacks die on their way to the hospital nobody present around has basic life support skills. Individuals trained in BLS can play a crucial role in saving lives in case of an emergency as they are taught to recognise life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR, use an AED and relieve choking.
Looking at the number of emergencies faced by dentists, it is important that proper training for handling emergencies be imparted for dental students as we as practicing doctors, whether working in boutique clinics or medical institutions. Berkeley HealthEDU, in association with Indian Dental Association (IDA) provides specialised BLS training for dentists and dental care professionals. The programme has so far successfully skilled more than 150 dental care professionals.
Basvakumar Majage, S. S. (Oct- Dec 2015). Medical emergencies encountered in dental clinics: A study from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Jouranal of Orofacial Research, 109-112.
Dental root tip infection ups heart disease risk. (Aug 2016). ET Healthworld.com.
Mostafa Alhamad, T. A. (May 2015). Medical emergencies encountered in dental clinics: A study from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Family & Community Medicine, 175-179.
V-C, N. (Dec 2015). Need for basic knowledge of BLS skills:. http://www.thehindu.com/.