All registrants must follow the guidance on medical
emergencies and training updates issued by the Resuscitation Council (UK). (1.5.3 Standards for the dental team)
The Resuscitation Council’s document Quality standards for cardiopulmonary resuscitation practice and training is its main medical
guidance document for dental professionals. We endorse this document and
expects registrants to apply this guidance in practice.
requirements – defibrillators and emergency drugs
We endorse the Resuscitation Council’s guidance that all clinical areas should have immediate access to an automated external defibrillator (AED).
What does this mean in practice?
Premises in which
patients are seen clinically should have a defibrillator. This includes practices in which patients are seen by:
A dentist only
A clinical dental technician only
A dental hygienist or dental therapist only
A combination of members of the dental team
We endorse the Resuscitation Council’s guidance
that clinical dental settings staffed by
dentists, hygienists, and therapists, are to have an emergency drugs kit. Further
guidance on what drugs should be contained in emergency drugs kits can be obtained from the Department of Health and via
the British National Formulary (you will need to subscribe to the British National Formulary in order to log into their website.)
technicians: We recognise that the Human Medicines Regulations 2012
prohibit clinical dental technicians from purchasing or holding the
prescription-only medicines contained within an emergency drugs kit. We do not
therefore expect a clinical dental technician to have an emergency drugs kit or
be trained in the use of an emergency drugs kit. We are aware that CDTs who
work independently will not have an emergency drugs kit on their premises.
Dental hygienists and
therapists: the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 permit dental hygienists
and therapists to hold emergency drugs on their premises, but not to purchase
the medicines directly. A dental hygienist / therapist practice needs to ensure
that they hold emergency drugs on site. Hygienist / therapist practices without
an on-site dentist can obtain an emergency kit through a prescribing dentist or
doctor under a patient-group directive.
A patient could
collapse on any premises at any time, whether they have received treatment or
not. It is therefore essential that all registrants must be trained in dealing
with medical emergencies, including resuscitation, and possess up to date
evidence of capability.
Scope of practice
Registrants must know their role in the event of a medical
emergency, and ensure they are sufficiently trained and competent to carry out
If the setting in which you work changes, your role in the
event of a medical emergency may change as well. You must ensure that you are
suitably trained and competent to carry out your new medical emergency role.
This might be the case for:
A dental hygienist moving to independent
practice under direct access
A clinical dental technician moving from a
dentist’s premises to independent premises
A dental nurse working in a school
A dental nurse assisting with domiciliary visits