Health Magazine

Questions a Parent Should Ask Before Selecting a Dentist: Part II

Posted on the 01 April 2012 by Rmbf @rmbfkids

Written By: Lorraine Perez

So, you walk into the office and have found out that the dental office staff is well prepared for Medical Emergencies. How do you know this? Could it be the high tech equipment they showed you? Yes…that one…the one that has an inch of dust on it. Let’s be real. While the dental office may have the equipment they need are the staff actually trained to use it? That’s the real question. So you say that you do not know what training certifications to ask for. That is where we can help you.

Let’s start with the basics. Basics as in

Basic Life Support (BLS): According to the American Heart Association:

“The Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers Classroom Course is designed to provide a wide variety of healthcare professionals the ability to recognize several life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR, use an AED, and relieve choking in a safe, timely and effective manner.”

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): According to the National Blood Lung and Heart Institute:

“An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).”

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): According to’s parent guide:

CPR (or cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a combination of rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) and chest compressions. If someone isn’t breathing or circulating blood adequately, CPR can restore circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Without oxygen, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than 8 minutes.” But based on The “new” CPR by

“Aside from revised guidelines for conventional CPR, in which mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is paired with chest compressions, CPR options now include compression-only CPR (also called hands-only CPR) and AED-assisted CPR, which employs an easy-to-use “automated external defibrillator” to safely deliver an electric shock that jump-starts the heart.”

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS): According to the American Heart Association:

“This classroom, video-based, Instructor-led course uses a series of simulated pediatric emergencies to reinforce the important concepts of a systematic approach to pediatric assessment, basic life support, PALS treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation and team dynamics. The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes.”

Will these certification stop emergencies from happening? No, but it will make the dental staff better prepared to handle them.
The Raven Maria Blanco Foundation was founded by parents who also did not realize to ask these questions. Today, the family honors the memory of little seven year old Raven by promoting advocacy, awareness and education in Dental Medical Emergency Preparedness. A core component of RMBF, Inc. prevention and education efforts come in the form of six invaluable principles known as The Six Links of Survival.

  The Six Links of Survival

1) Doctor Training: Dentists are taught during dental school to respond to a large number of medical conditions and problems (e.g. heart attack, stroke, seizure, and diabetic abnormalities).  However, these skills are lost with time if efforts are not taken for periodic continuing education.

2) Staff Training:  For a dentist to perform with optimum skill, the dental staff requires education and training.

3) Mock Drills:  Periodic practice, such as school fire drills, is recognized as an important component in maintaining competency in managing an aberrant event. This principle also applies to dental offices facing a medical crisis.

4) Emergency Plan:  The diversity and infrequency of various medical situations necessitates that established algorithms are maintained to assist the dentist and staff in providing appropriate, timely treatment.

5) Medications: Both the American Dental Association and national lecturers on medical emergency preparedness recommend that dental offices stock basic emergency medications.

6) Equipment:  Basic medical equipment needs to be maintained and available to any dentist responding to a medical emergency.

By encouraging more and more dental offices to adopt and implement these six principles the better chance there is of preventing pediatric deaths. Find out if your dentist office is prepared for medical emergencies. Ask the right questions!

To learn more about the Raven Maria Blanco, Inc. go to or donate here:

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