What should be in a dental practice medical emergency kit? The answer is determined by practice type, patient base, training of dentists and staff and the requirements of dental benefit contracts.
Most dental offices have one emergency kit to be used for employees and patients. Cal/OSHA does not specify what should be in a first aid kit for employees, just that the employer has documentation that a physician approved the kit. One suggestion for getting a physician’s approval is to communicate a list of the contents intended for employees and the types of employee injuries that could be anticipated in the office. Ask the physician for a signature approval of the list. Cite the Cal/OSHA regulation, CCR Title 8 Section 3400, if necessary.
For patients, it is recommended a medical emergency kit contain: oxygen, blood pressure monitoring equipment, epinephrine, diphenhydramine, a bronchodilator, aspirin, a quick source of glucose, nitroglycerin and aromatic ammonia. The drugs should be checked periodically to ensure they have not expired. In the Journal of the American Dental Association in March 2002 and in May 2010 published recommendations for what to include in an office emergency kit. Dental benefits plan contracted providers should check their respective provider handbooks for specific requirements.
Kit items can be purchased separately or prepackaged. Items may be purchased separately from a pharmacy upon presentation of an order (see example below). The quantity ordered should not be so large as to require purchase from a wholesale pharmacy. Provide the pharmacist with a copy of the ADA journal article if necessary. California law authorizes a pharmacist to fill a dentist’s order for necessary drugs (Business & Professions Codes sections 4059-4060). If a pharmacy refuses to fill your order, ask to speak with its pharmacist-in-charge to determine the reason for the denial
Dentists may also purchase drugs from California licensed wholesale pharmacies. Find a wholesale pharmacy by searching the Department of Consumer Affairs database at search.dca.ca.gov for Board of Pharmacy “wholesaler” licensees.
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).
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