Had two years already gone by? Yes, time to be re-certified for CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This certification is required to practice dentistry in New York State. This is a good thing because it is crucial for us to know what to do in an emergency. We are also required to have an AED (automated external defibrillator) on site. This we have in my Setauket office on the back of the door to my consult room. The AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia. The AED can then treat the patient through defibrillation, or an application of an electrical pulse which stops the arrhythmia so the heart can reestablish a more regular rhythm.
CPR is an emergency procedure. It is indicated for a person who is unresponsive with abnormal or absent breathing. It is performed in an effort to preserve brain function until help (EMT’s) arrive and can take over to restore blood circulation and breathing. CPR involves compression of the chest 2 inches deep and at a rate of 100 compressions per minute in an attempt to manually pump blood through the heart. Artificial respiration is also added to the procedure.
I have taken the CPR course many times since graduating from dental school. The procedure has been simplified over the years so more people can perform the procedure in case of an emergency. Now with the AED, the success rate has increased dramatically.
Here we are at this week’s class at the Suffolk Dental Society practicing CPR on a dummy: