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Medical Emergencies in the Dental Practice 2022

February 14, 2022

It’s that time of the year for refreshing and updating our knowledge of, what we hope never happens in the practice, a medical emergency.

The course is knowledge but also practice to mimic a real life situation. Enter George, our test dummy.

This involves teamwork, working under extreme stress, and working against the body clock of the patient in a medical crisis. 

The stress starts with identifying there is a problem with the patient. If the patient is “not in control of their body” then a medical emergency is happening. If then this leads to needing CPR, compressions of the heart begin. 

This is hard work! This is applying firm pressure at a fast enough pace to make the heart push blood around the body, especially to the brain. 

Then, while this is going on, setting up the defibrillator to the patient and making everyone is clear before shocking the heart.

Then, eventually, an air bag is placed via a device that accesses the lungs in the back of the throat. This to provide enough oxygen, (not too much) to the lungs, while the compressions are still happening.

I’m tired reliving this in my mind, while I’m writing this blog! 

George - Medical Emergency Test patient - has no idea the effort the team will do to save his life

A noteworthy point of the session was learning about recognising the changes to the colour if the skin and what that means-

Pink, warm, dry- Healthy (Unhealthy – pale, cold, wet)

Blue – Respiratory distress

Green/Yellow – Liver issues

White – bleeding

Grey Cardiac, Shock

If the person is of dark complexion, then check the tongue. The tongue is the most accurate site to check skin colour.

If unable to check the tongue, then look under the eyelid.

The normal tongue - pale, pink colour

Signs of Stroke pointers to know:

Left side of Brain – Talks

Right side of Brain – Does not talk

Also when testing for a stroke – hold arms level in front of you, then close eyes, one arm will drop. Why? Eyesight can compensate for stroke of the brain.

Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:

  • Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time – Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

The quicker you or someone else acts, the more of YOU survives!

Need an Appointment?

If you’d like to book an appointment with the dentist at Seymour Dental then call us in Dulwich Hill, Sydney on (02) 9564 2397 or
contact us

Next week

The Conversation – Part 5 – Personal History