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The State of Florida passed a law requiring all Florida dental office to have AEDs at each location they practice dentistry.  The law went into effect in 2006 however does not stress the importance to the dentist that AEDs need to be inspected and maintained, nor does it stress the importance of training all staff members how to perform CPR and use the AED.

Proper AED inspection and maintenance is an essential part of every AED program.  AEDs are easy to maintain and the inspection can be done in just a few minutes.  Each AED should be inspected at least once per month verifying that the ready light is on and that the battery, electrode pads and rescue ready kit is present and up to date.  Depending on the make and model AED, generally the AED battery life is 2-4 years and the electrodes pads typically have a 2 year life. If you have pediatric patients then you should also have pediatric electrode pads.  Pediatric pads also have a shelf life and should be replaced prior to their expiration.  If upon inspection you notice your pads are nearing the expiration date it is advisable to replace these 90 days prior to their actual expiration date and dispose of the old pads properly.
 
FLORIDA - CHAPTER 64B5-17 DENTAL PRACTICE AND PRINCIPLES
64B5-17.015 Office Safety Requirement As part of the minimum standard of care, every dental office location shall be required to have an automatic external defibrillator by February 28, 2006. Any dentist practicing after February 28, 2006, without an automatic external defibrillator on site shall be considered to be practicing below the minimum standard of care.   Specific Authority 466.004(4), 466.017(3)(c) FS. Law Implemented 466.017(4), 466.028(1)(x) FS. History–New 5-31-04.

I recently conducted several training classes at dental offices and found that at both locations the AEDs were not being inspected and found dead batteries and pads that expired 2 years ago (2007).  One dentist was not ever aware there was an AED in the office.  It is very important that everyone in the office is aware where the AED is located, how often inspections are performed, when the battery and pads will expire, how to use the AED and how to perform CPR.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes approximately 350,000 Americans annually.  This is about 1,000 people per day.  Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States and kills more people than breast cancer, lung cancer and AIDS combined.  Approximately 10 percent of Sudden cardiac arrest events occur in people younger than 40.  Without early defibrillation less than 5 percent of people suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest will survive.

1. What can dentists do to improve safety and reduce liability?
In addition to inspecting and maintaining your AED you need training, training and more training.  The AED CPR training your dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and office staff receives can often be the difference between life and death when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest.  Preparing for sudden cardiac arrest, knowing what to do and how to act quickly can turn a very bad incident into a life saving celebration.

2. How often should CPR and First Aid training occur?
The old expression use it or lose it comes to mind.  The American Heart Association CPR AED and First Aid certification cards are valid for a period of 2 years.  Every 2 years may be sufficient for the actual training classes but safety drills, similar to the fire drills we had in school should be conducted on a regular basis.  These drills apply what was learned in the classroom to real life scenarios that can occur in your dental office.

3. What should I include in my safety drills?
Talk about the many different scenarios.  Is it an adult or a pediatric victim?  Who is dialing 911?  Who is getting the AED?  What about mouth to mouth, are you using a bag valve mask and oxygen or a traditional pocket mask?  CPR is performed best on the floor.  Who will be assisting you in lifting the victim to the floor?, Is there enough space between your exam chair and the wall to perform CPR or do you need to drag the victim into the hallway for sufficient space?  

4. What documentation should I maintain?
You should document who is inspecting your AED, how often they are inspecting the AED as well as the install date of the battery and the expiration dates on both the battery and the electrode pads.  A simple inspection tag, similar to those found on fire extinguishers works well for AED inspections.  

Training should also be tracked making certain that everyone in the office holds a valid CPR AED certification card.  I prefer onsite training in the office vs. going to take a class elsewhere.  In office training allows the staff to talk about a plan for the office, identify any potential problems, discusses concerns, and formulate an action plan in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

AED Defibrillator Sales5. I do not have an AED at my dental office, should I purchase one and if so, which type?
If you are a Florida dentist you should definitely have an AED in your office.  All AEDs are designed to shock the victim and save lives but some are easier to use than others.  I do not usually suggest buying an AED over the internet or from a catalog.  I suggest meeting with a qualified AED salesperson that has actually used AEDs and has real world CPR experience.  They can share with you how these work in real life settings and help you make the right decision. 

Preparing your dental office and your staff for medical emergencies is like buying insurance, only a lot less expensive.  You are increasing safety while reducing liability and best of all the costs associated with these safety programs are relatively low.
 
The CPR School provides CPR AED training for Florida dentists.  We also sell Automated External Defibrillators AEDs, as well as batteries and electrode pads.   We pride ourselves on being a one stop shop.  We can help busy dentists with every aspect of the CPR AED program including inspections.  For free assistance please visit http://www.TheCPRSchool.com or call us at 561-762-0500.

CPR AED Safety Training Certification Classes at your Florida Dental Office
AED Sales, AED Batteries and AED Electrode Pads for Florida Dental Offices

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