Handling medical emergencies

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 5
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Medical emergencies can occur at any time in the dental surgery. Routine dental operations and procedures that generally cause no harm or distress to fit and normal patients may give rise to symptoms, alarming and of sudden onset, in patients suffering from some non - obvious ailment. Some of these patients may be receiving medical treatment, and the medical emergency may arise from the disease itself, or as a direct result of the treatment they are receiving. While there will inevitably be some degree of ambiguity with what constitutes an emergency, emergency care is care without which the patient will or may be subject to serious harm, including professional harm. Dental emergencies cannot be isolated from medical emergencies. An abscess, for example, can evolve into a potentially life-threatening situation. For a dentist to ignore any or all foreseeable consequences of inaction is unprofessional and could well lead to the patient seeking a legal remedy on the grounds of negligence. It has been estimated that one or two life-threatening emergencies will occur in the life - time practice of a general dental practitioner. This experience may increase as the aging population rises and more patients with underlying medical conditions seek dental care.