Are you ready for your next medical emergency?

There’s no telling when a crisis is going to hit.

Look, nobody wants this sort of thing to happen.  But we both know that sooner or later a medical emergency will happen in your dental chair.  That’s why you do your regular emergency training, and that’s why you have a box full of emergency drugs.

I know those drugs are all in date right?

Ask yourself though, how well do you think you can handle this situation when it happens?  When panic threatens and the adrenaline starts to pump, are you going to be able to remember how to diagnose and treat the vast array of emergencies that can happen?  Or do you worry that you or your associates will make a mistake at the most critical of times?

The thing is, most practices that I’ve seen aren’t ready.  They like to think they are, but how do you get good at dealing with something by practising it once or twice a year.  You can’t.

Repetition is the mother of skill.  You aren’t in the situation enough to get that repetition.

You need to be able to act quickly, effectively and decisively when emergencies happen.  The first way is to do your medical emergency training more often, either in-house or in a specialised centre.  Once a year, in my mind, isn’t enough.  And yes it means time away from patients and expense, but it’s worth it for patient safety.

You then need to ensure that what you learn is remembered.  One of the easiest ways to do that is to systemise the process.  Get it written down so that you and your staff can practice scenarios throughout the year.  Get it written down, in an easy to follow format so that the existing guidelines can be referred to when they are needed.

Everyone needs to know that when X happens, we do Y.

Systems are written processes that allow staff to develop a practice pathway that is written down so that it can be referred to for review, and in times of crisis.  That’s what I did in my practice.  We made sure that everything we did was up to date with the latest guidelines and that staff and clinicians had the knowledge they needed, at hand, when they needed it.

To do this I created two documents.

The first was an A-Z of the types of medical emergencies that can occur.  This contained all the information needed, from the signs of symptoms to how to manage.

The second was a series of flowcharts that could be stored with the emergency drugs kit and could be referred to when they were needed the most.

Now you can do this yourself, and if that’s the way you want to go, I’ll even tell you where to find the guidance

  • Care Quality Commission (2017), Dental mythbuster 4: Drugs and equipment required for a medical emergency –
  • NICE (2016) Epilepsies; diagnosis and management – Available at
  • Guidance#specialist-cardiovascular-assessment-anddiagnosis
  • practice.html
  • pcrs

Have you noticed how the powers that be don’t make it easy for you?  So that’s why this product was made.  But those links give you all the information you need.  It takes time to put it all together though.

So I’m offering you two word documents:  The first is colour coded flow charts that you can print off, laminate and stick with your drugs kit.

The second is the Medical Emergency Management System, which includes the following:

  • Acute Chest Pain
  • Anaesthetic overdose/drug interaction
  • Anaphylactic Shock
  • Asthmatic Attacks
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Collapse of a patient on Corticosteroids
  • Fainting
  • Fits
  • Haemorrhage
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Hyperventilation Syndrome
  • Psychiatric Emergencies
  • Respiratory failure
  • Respiratory Obstruction
  • Stroke

It also contains some common medical conditions that pose challenges when the patient is in the dental chair.  For example:

  • Acute Leukaemia
  • Anaemia
  • Asthma
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Bleeding disorders/ anticoagulant therapy
  • Cardiac problems
  • Diabetes
  • Equipment for emergency resuscitation
  • High blood pressure
  • Infective endocarditis
  • Infectious diseases
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Patients on corticosteroids
  • Pregnancy
  • Recommended drug list

Can I be honest with you though?  I was hesitant to sell this.


Because I was worried that people wouldn’t understand how to properly use this system.  This isn’t a “buy it and only look at it when the sh*t hits the fan” affair.  That is the worst thing you can do.

These two documents are templates.  They are designed to be altered and adapted to your particular practice requirements.  If you buy this product, there are several things you will need to do:

  • Actually read it and check it against the guidance. Unfortunately, the guidance can vary dependant on what part of the country you are in.  This was designed for use in England.
  • Incorporate it into your regular training so that staff get used to using the flowcharts.
  • Give your staff a say in how medical emergencies are dealt with. Make sure they are happy with their roles and responsibilities.
  • Adapt it to your practice and make sure YOU are happy with each and every part of the system.
  • Remember that the existing guidance will change. You will need to continuously check and update this system as the weeks and months progress.

Okay, so how much am I asking?




This isn’t meant to be official guidance.  This is designed to be a template so you can develop your own system that works with your practice.  It isn’t a one key fits all locks scenario.  You still have to put in the work, because when that emergency hits you when you least expect it, you will be held accountable should anything go wrong.