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General Information



  • have designated roles and specific assigned duties for all staff members
  • have contact information for emergency medical services (EMS)
  • have contact information for patient’s physician
  • know the patient’s medical history
  • have 100% oxygen available
  • ensure that emergency equipment is properly functioning
  • ensure that emergency medication is available and not beyond the expiration date

Common Actions#

  • discontinue dental treatment
  • assess responsiveness
  • position patient to ease breathing
  • evaluate breathing, airway and circulation
  • monitor blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate
  • inspect the pupils of the eyes:
    • constricted pupils – possible drug overdose
    • unequal pupils – possible stroke
    • dilated pupils – possible shock

Basic Life Support#

Airways, Breathing, Circulation (ABC) intervention for:#

  • Overdose
  • Trauma
  • Altered mental status
  • Diabetic emergencies
  • Respiratory failure
  • Airway obstruction
  • Respiratory Distress

Circulation, Airways, Breathing (CAB) intervention for:#

  • Cardiac Arrest

Supplemental oxygen#

  • 4 L/min oxygen via nasal cannulae in patients who are not critically ill and life-threatening hypoxaemia is not suspected.
  • 5-10 L/min via simple face mask or 15 L/min through a reservoir mask in patients who are critically ill or in whom life-threatening hypoxaemia. Do not keep patients on 15L for longer than necessary as over-oxygenating for prolonged periods can be harmful.

Information provided to emergency medical systems (EMS)#

  • Differential diagnosis
  • Patient's demographic information
  • Present medical status - vital sign/signs/symptoms
  • Exact time when the medical emergency occurred.
  • Intervention provided in the dental clinic, including any medication.
  • Exact address and telephone number of the dental clinic.