According to the demographic change there are increasing numbers of elderly und medically compromised patients in the dental practice. It is an imperative that dental practitioners have the knowledge of diagnosing medical emergencies and are competent to carry out appropriate resuscitation techniques. This study was conducted to evaluate the incidence, nature and severity of medical emergencies in the dental office as well as the prevalence of medical emergency education, equipment and management.
Structured questionnaire survey with covering letter of a sample of 1400 dentists
There was a 9,6% response. Emergency events were reported by 92%. An average frequency of 1,15 events per year was reported. The most commonly events were vaso-vagale syncopes, severe bleeding, orthostatic syncopes and hyperventilation. Overall, there were two deaths resulting of medical emergency in the dental office. 78% were pregraduate emergency-medical educated, 83% declared their education as insufficient. 95% were postgraduate emergency-medical educated; in 48% the postgraduate training was older than two years. 97% possessed an medical emergency equipment, 78% felt safe in handling the emergency devices and only 52% felt safe with indication and doses of the medicaments. In total, one quarter did not feel confident about their emergency education and one third not about their medical equipment and medical emergency management.
Medical emergency in the dental practice is not an exception. There is a perceived need of training and education pre- and postgraduate in form of specific courses for the target group. Emergency medicine should be included in the curricula of all accrediated dental schools. Furthermore emergency equipment should be specifically designed according to dentists.||dc.description.abstract