What to include in a medical emergency kit

Many CDA members are calling the CDA Practice Support Center and asking what they need to include in their medical emergency kit.

Most dental offices have one emergency kit to be used for both employees and patients. For employees, Cal/OSHA does not specify what should be in a medical emergency kit, just that the employer have documentation that a physician approved the kit.

Dentists should make a list of the contents in their emergency kit, talk to a physician about the type of injuries that could be anticipated in their practice and ask the physician for a signature approval on the list.

For patients, it is recommended that the kit contain: oxygen, blood pressure monitoring equipment, epinephrine, Benadryl, a quick source of glucose, nitroglycerin and a CPR pocket mask. The drugs should be checked periodically to ensure they have not expired.

The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has recommendations for what to include in an office emergency kit. The recommendations were published in the March 2002 Journal of the American Dental Association. Dentists who are providers for a dental benefit plan should check their provider handbook for specific requirements.

Kit items can be purchased separately or pre-packaged. A pharmacy can fill a prescription for an EpiPen or nitroglycerin if the prescription indicates it is for the office medical emergency kit. Provide the pharmacist with a copy of the ADA article if necessary.

For offices where general anesthesia is used, the Dental Board of California requires specific equipment (CCR Title 16 Section 1043.3 of the Dental Practice Act).

For more practice management information, visit cda.org/compass.