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Anesthesia Dental Emergencies Supporting Your Practice

The Dental Office Medical Emergency Kit


Dr. Joonyoung Ji, Dental Anesthesia specialist in Ottawa, provides useful and important information about the must haves in the dental office medical emergency kit. 


Emergency kits are a necessity in every dental office but, there are basic elements practitioners must consider.

  • Kits must be easily accessible
  • Kits must be stocked appropriately and organized
  • An action plan should be in place and the team should know how to administer the medications
  • Expiration dates and reordering information should be kept handy

The RCDSO mandates that all dental offices have 6 emergency drugs available in each office:

  1. Oxygen
  2. Epinephrine
  3. Salbutamol (Ventolin)
  4. Nitroglycerine
  5. ASA (non-enteric coated tablets)
  6. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)


  • Mobile units are best for easy use in any operatory/area of the office
  • Usual adult flow is 5L/minute and children is 2L/minute, minimum


  • Epinephrine 1:1000 concentration is used for IM injection
  • Used for anaphylaxis and asthma which is not helped by Ventolin


  • Used for allergic reactions
  • 50mg/mL is the usual concentration


  • Quick chew tablets
  • Used for episodes of angina, heart attack


  • Commonly used for angina, heart attack, other heart-related conditions


  • “Blue” puffer used for relief of asthma, COPD
  • Used when patients are experiencing trouble breathing or apprehension

Practitioners should run frequent drills for basic emergency situations that one could encounter in a dental office and have written protocols for these scenarios for the dental team to follow. Teams should also consider having an AED (automatic external defibrillator) in the office.

Watch the video presentation


1 Comment

  1. Randy Crowell September 7, 2016

    Excellent review, however all the drugs are metered except the Epi. One needs to make sure to use only 0.3mg of epi on an adult, or 1/3 of the small glass vial, when dealing with a closing airway. Half again for kids under the age of 12, 0.15 or 1/6 of the glass vial. Better yet, an epi pen and a pedo epi pen, and you can relax about Epi dosing. Randy Crowell, Edmonton.


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