The National Dental Advisory Committee (NDAC) 1999 publication ‘Emergency Dental Drugs’ identified a list of drugs and equipment which should be available to manage medical emergencies within the dental setting. It also highlighted the need for dentists to carry a full emergency drugs kit (including portable oxygen supply and suction) for all domiciliary visits. This was reviewed by a short-life working group convened by NDAC, taking into account changes in practice and guidance, and an updated version ‘Emergency Drugs and Equipment in Primary Dental Care’ was published by the Scottish Government in 2015.
This publication was reviewed and updated in 2023 to align with the current versions of key sources including the British National Formulary (BNF) and Resuscitation Council UK standards and guidelines (see Appendix 1). Updates in the 2023 ‘Emergency Drugs and Equipment in Primary Dental Care’ include:
- amendments to the list of medical emergencies to align with the BNF, including the addition of adrenal insufficiency;
- clarification of the details of the equipment required, including the need for both adult and child bag-valve-masks, recommended needle sizes, and the listing of defibrillator pads;
- the addition of optional equipment items for patient assessment and monitoring;
- additional information about considerations for the risk assessment for domiciliary care;
- an updated description of the basis for the training requirements;
- details of the ABCDE approach are no longer included as these will be covered in training on the management of medical emergencies;
- minor amendments to improve clarity.
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