Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (4): 342-349.doi: 10.24920/003708

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Medical Emergencies in Dental Clinics: A Survey of 2013 Dentists in China

Quan Jing, Kuo Wan(), Lin Ma, Jizhi Zhao   

  1. Department of Dentistry, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China
  • Received:2020-01-05 Accepted:2020-03-23 Published:2020-12-31 Online:2021-01-08
  • Contact: Kuo Wan
Medical emergencies in dental clinics threaten patient safety and have gained increasing attentions. This survey on medical emergencies in dental clinics in China mainland is based on the largest sample of Chinese dentists and covers the broadest regions and dental specialties. The results provide important evidence for optimizing dental education.

Objective To investigate the feature and frequency of medical emergencies in dental clinics in China and the associated factors for Chinese dentists experiencing medical emergencies.
Methods A survey study was conducted among 2408 dentists who attended continuing educational courses held by Society of Sedation and Analgesia of Chinese Stomatological Association in 18 cities from December 2015 to December 2018. Demographic information of the dentists and the characteristics of medical emergencies they encountered were collected and analyzed. The associated demographic features for dentist experiencing medical emergencies were analyzed by logistic regression model.
Results A total of 2013 dentists provided valid responses and reported 2923 events of medical emergencies in dental clinics. Among them, 85.0% reported that they had encountered medical emergencies, and 35.5% had encountered at least twice. Syncope (35.9%) and hypoglycemia (30.3%) were the most common reported medical emergencies. Medical emergencies were most likely to occur during local anesthesia (49.9%), out-patient oral surgery (25.9%), and root canal treatment (11.3%). There were 6 patients (0.2%) died in emergencies. 84.0% dentists reported that they had never received training courses about medical emergency management in dentistry other than Basic Life Support. Longer practicing time (10-15 years) (OR=0.59, 95% CI: 0.41-0.85, P=0.004), working in private dental facilities (OR=1.69, 95% CI: 1.20-2.38, P=0.003) were associated with an increased risk of experiencing medical emergencies.
Conclusion More efforts are needed in prevention, early identification, and timely management of medical emergencies in dental clinics in order to prevent fatal outcomes. The results of this survey are useful information for re-designing emergency training courses for Chinese dentists.

Key words: dental clinics, dentists, medical emergency, frequency, survey

Funding: Youth Educational Scholar Program of Peking Union Medical College(2016zlgc0712)

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