Sedation Safety Week Kicks Off with Essential Checklist for Every Sedation Dentist

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With the purpose of raising awareness about safe sedation dentistry, thousands of dentists around the country kicked off Sedation Safety Week (SSW) today with the popular “7-Step Sedation Dentistry Safety Checklist: A Review of Protocols, Equipment and Supplies.” Created by DOCS Education, the checklist outlines key steps dentists and their team members can take this week to assure all their patients have safe, comfortable and effective sedation treatment.

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Sedation Safety Week is a reminder that keeping emergency preparedness and safety skills current is critical to our patients and practices.

With the purpose of raising awareness about safe sedation dentistry, thousands of dentists around the country kicked off Sedation Safety Week (SSW) today with the popular “7-Step Sedation Dentistry Safety Checklist: A Review of Protocols, Equipment and Supplies”—an absolute necessity for sedation dentists.

The checklist was created by DOCS Education, a leading sedation continuing education organization and the host of SSW. “Managing pain and anxiety are among dentistry’s oldest challenges. Providing dental care with excellence and compassion is the mission of DOCS Education and the reason we take time annually to observe Sedation Safety Week,” says DOCS Education’s co-founder and SSW chairman, Dr. Michael Silverman. “It’s a reminder that keeping emergency preparedness and safety skills current is critical to our patients and practices.”

The 7-Step Sedation Dentistry Safety Checklist is intended to remind dental professionals of key steps they can take to ensure all their patients have a safe, comfortable and effective dental appointment. The checklist is designed specifically for dentists and oral health professionals who have received specialized training in sedation safety.

7-Step Safety Checklist:

1.    Check all of your monitoring and emergency equipment this week to ensure that it is up to code and in working order, including your pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, automated external defibrillator and supplemental oxygen delivery system.

2.    Make note of the expiration dates of all your oral sedation medications, emergency drug kit medications, AED pads and AED battery. Continue your weekly checks and documentation of the oxygen levels in your emergency tanks. Place orders this week for any items within 90 days of expiration and restore emergency oxygen tanks to full pressure.

3.    Make certain your office is equipped with an intraosseous infusion system to help you run an IV line in an emergency. This is especially important if you do not have IV certification or are required to have equipment. This equipment provides immediate vascular access for delivering emergency life-savings drugs. Review procedures for using the system.

4.    Run an emergency drill this week and schedule routine practice drills for the months ahead. This is a team-wide effort, and everyone should participate. Review the locations of all emergency drugs and equipment and make sure they are easily accessible.

5.    Review your patient intake procedures with all team members —specifically for all scheduled sedation dentistry patients. Always cross-reference your patient's medications, supplements, vitamins and herbs with the sedative and anesthetic medications you plan to administer. Use a comprehensive program, such as Lexi-Comp® drug software. If there are any doubts, confer with a patient's physician ahead of any treatment and document the conversation.

6.    Be certain that everyone on your team has current CPR and/or ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) training. Sign up for a refresher course if necessary or if you feel it would be beneficial. Also, make sure everyone in the office knows how to operate a pulse oximeter and AED.

7.    Register yourself and your team members for refresher courses or advanced training from a trusted and reliable educator, such as DOCS Education. Even those who regularly treat patients with sedation dentistry will benefit from reviewing the very latest safety insights as well as previous course materials.

Dentists who would like more information on sedation dentistry safety or wish to order supplies are encouraged to call (877) 325-3627.

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Michelle Hannah
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