Make sure your medical emergency kit doesn't become a liability

Nobody wants to have to use a medical emergency kit; however, should a potential life-threatening situation arise in your dental practice, whether with a patient or an employee, you want to make sure you have the necessary pharmaceuticals or equipment to care for the person until help arrives.

Do you have a medical emergency kit in your office? If so, do you know where it is currently located? What’s in it? How to use what’s in it? And, whether its contents have expired or work?

How you answer these questions may make all the difference in a person’s life — and your own professional liability — should an emergency occur. If you don’t have a kit, don’t know how to use its contents, or have outdated pharmaceuticals or non-working equipment in it, you could be exposing yourself to avoidable risk.

What you must include in your emergency kits will depend on your particular state’s dental board requirements. For more on the “basics” to include, check out this article from the Journal of the American Dental Association.

You can either create your own kit by purchasing items separately or buy a ready-made one from any number of vendors. However, keep in mind:

  • Keep your kit in a prominent, easy-to-access location that everyone in the office knows about.
  • Assign someone to be responsible for periodically checking all kit items to make sure none of the pharmaceuticals have expired and that all equipment is operational. You could use the spring and fall time change dates as reminders.
  • Make sure you and your staff members are familiar with the contents of the emergency kit and are trained in its use.

Also, be sure that you and all staff members have up-to-date certification in basic life support.

For more information on professional liability and risk management for your dental practice, contact PSIC today at 1-800-864-8026.

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