Medical emergencies such as a heart attack or cardiac arrest can happen anywhere and at any time. It is very possible that it may occur at a visit to the dentist and so it is essential that all dental staff are fully trained in life support. Every year we carry out basic life support training for all of the dentists and dental nurses at Complete Dental Care so that you can be sure you are well cared for when you visit us.
Just last week NHS Scotland has announces that they will be providing defibrillators for all NHS dental practices across Scotland. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26803331
We had already invested in a defibrillator last year as we want to make sure that all of our patients receive the best possible care. Many NHS dental practices are located within communities and shopping areas and so if someone were to have a cardiac arrest near a dental practice then they would be able to access the defibrillator. Studies have shown that early access to a defibrillator increases the chance of survival.
A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping properly for some reason and so blood flow to the rest of the body is compromised. It is not the same as a heart attack but it could be caused by one. A defibrillator works by shocking the heart and actually stopping it so that the heart can reset its normal rythm and start beating again properly. The defibrillators that you will find in dental practices and other places accesible to the public will be automatic and very easy to use.