Are you prepared for a medical emergency?
Recently, while one of my colleagues was performing a periodontal maintenance procedure, her diabetic patient became unresponsive. He was experiencing a hypoglycemic episode. Jamie knew just what to do. Someone retrieved the medical emergency kit at her request. She reached for a tube of glucose gel and administered it to the patient, who recovered nicely.
In the end, all was well with Jamie's patient. I, on the other hand was plagued with these questions; would I have known what to do and where to find the medical emergency kit and would the kit have what the patient needed? I'm certain I am not the only one asking these questions; keep reading for the answers.
Administer 15 mg of glucose gel-Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop unusually low, typically below 70mg/dl for most diabetics. According to the American Diabetes Association, when hypoglycemia occurs we should follow the rule of 15. Eat 15g of rapid-acting carbohydrates-a tube of glucose gel, for example, which is measured in 15g carbohydrate dosages. After eating one full tube of glucose gel, wait 15 minutes and then test the blood sugar. If blood sugar is still too low, repeat the process.
Centrally located-Every office should have an updated, ADA-compliant basic emergency medical kit stored in a central location known to every team member. While at the ADA annual meeting in November, I had the opportunity to visit the Health First booth. They offer the SM Series of Medical Emergency Kits, designed specifically for general dental practices that wish to be compliant and prepared for medical emergencies.
The contents of the SM Series kits are consistent with the recommendations from the ADA, JADA, and the Health First Independent Medical Advisory Board. The medications and devices are quick, safe, and easy to administer and vary somewhat depending upon which kit you order.
• Epinephrine auto-injectors and backup ampules (adult 0.3mg or pediatric 0.15mg)
• Auto-injector training unit
• Diphenhydramine 50mg/1ml
• Albuterol inhaler
• Nitroglycerin tablets or spray
• Ammonia inhalants
• Oral glucose gel (15mg)
• CPR pocket mask
• Color-coded medication instructions
• Optional reversal agents for sedation-related emergencies
• OnTraQ refill system (medications with expiration dates are tracked by Health First, and drugs are replaced automatically to maximize shelf life, save money, and ensure readiness.)
While being prepared for a medical emergency is very important, avoiding these types of events is even better. One of the best ways is to avoid a diabetic related emergency is to remember the three questions to ask every diabetic:
• What was you glucose level this morning?
• When and what did you last eat?
• Did you take your insulin?
It's every clinician's responsibility to be prepared for a medical emergency! Visit healthfirst.com and check out the SM Series Basic Emergency Medical Kits. Be prepared today!
Sulcabrush for Healthy Gums!
According to the ADA, not only do most Americans not floss, they would rather be doing things like wash a sink full of dirty dishes (18%), wait in a long check-out line, or clean a toilet (14% each). Nearly one in 10 U.S. adults would rather sit in gridlock traffic for an hour or do their taxes (9% each) than floss. If you or your patients feel the same way, Sulcabrush may be an alternative for you.
According to the manufacturer, Sulcabrush is 98% effective in removing plaque and reducing gingivitis. Clinically proven and backed by research, Sulcabrush can help eliminate bleeding gums, reducing the risk of harmful bacteria entering the blood stream and thereby improve not only oral health but overall systemic health.
Sulcabrush is the creation of Dr. Florence, a dentist who wanted an easy solution for his patients who did not floss. The brush is modeled after a type of natural toothbrush known as a chew-stick, which has been used for centuries and is still used in countries such as India and Africa. The angled design makes it easy to reach posterior areas while the reach of the handle and the firm bristles resemble that of a natural twig. It comes in a full size and a pocket size version. It's convenient and easy to use, even outside the bathroom, for example, while reading a book, watching TV, or traveling.
Visit sulcabrush.com or call your Benco rep, and order some samples today. You and your patients will be glad you did!
As always, email me at [email protected] with information about new products or tried and true products you would like to see appear in this column. RDH
KIM MILLER, RDH, BSDH, is the co-founder of PerioFrogz.com, an information-based website providing free current oral-systemic research summaries and patient education downloads. Kim is also a coach with Inspired Hygiene, delivering customized hands-on training. She speaks internationally, writes articles and webinars, and enjoys clinical dental hygiene. Kim lives in Arizona and welcomes you to contact her at [email protected].