As dentists, we take health and safety very seriously and as you know, we also have a great team at Sale Dental Spa who really care about the health of our patients so we regularly update our knowledge and training and last week, a Health and Safety Trainer came in to refresh our Health & Safety skills!
As part of the General Dental Council’s regulations, dental practices have regular health and safety training to ensure that their members are equipped to help any patients (or staff) should they have a medical emergency which is great to know that you are in safe hands here at the practice.
The Trainer gave an overview of what she would be covering including, a shorthand for a checklist well known in Health and Safety called the ABCDE list.
which is the memorable steps to helping any ill patients or even saving their lives!
To check a patient’s airways, you should first open their mouths to see if they have any items blocking their breathing such as solids or even liquid, sputum or blood.
For solids, you can hook any items out with a finger or if they are clearly choking then the patient should be bent forward with their mouth open and the”heel” of the hand can be used to give 5 slaps to the back to propel any objects out of the mouth.
If this doesn’t work then abdominal thrusts (known as the Heinlich manoeuvre) can be used whereby an adult patient grips the patient from behind around their abdomen and squeezes their stomach area to create pressure in the adomen and chest to expel any foreign objects.
If a patient should turn up who is having difficulty breathing, then they should be reassured and kept calm. They may be cold or look blue.
If they suffer from asthma and are having an attack then we have a spare disposable inhaler bag in the practice (with our supplies of health and safety equipment) that they can use.
To check a patient’s circulation, we were taught to check for Capillary Refill (or CAP for short). To do this you press on the patient’s chest or forehead, demonstrated here by Karen Dungey, our Dental Nurse. She pressed for 2 seconds til they go pink. This is to check if fluid levels are low, as the patient may be dehydrated due to sweating or D&V (Diarrhoea or Vomiting)
Amongst other things, the course covered the topic of a patient coming into the practice at Sale possibly being hypoglacaemic. With a low blood sugar they can sometimes look like they are drunk or on drugs but this can be calmly dealt with by giving them a sugary drink, dextrose sweet which we have at the practice.
This area was covered briefly in the course.
We were also trained in how to give CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) which is used on patients who have no pulse or their heart rate cannot be felt.
We practiced an emergency CPR and team members took on roles such as calling 9999 (the first 9 is for an outside line!) and taking on roles such as calling an ambulance, making the practice clear to the ambulance by going outside to flag it to the right place, taking it in turns to compress the chest and holding the patient’s head in position with the mask fully over their faced to aid breathing.
The trainer praised our team work and how we coped with the pressurised situation to ensure our patient as always gets the best care and attention possible.
Please be Aware
The above information is purely for explanation purposes only and in no way should it be taken to replace your own health and safety research or training.