Medical Emergency Equipment

1 of the 5 key questions CQC will ask, 'Are they safe?'.

Do I need to keep regular checks on my medical emergency equipment?

(From CQC 23rd April 2015)

'Quality Assurance Process - Expiry dates for emergency medicines and equipment, and availability of oxygen should be checked at least weekly.'


Do you have an AED and the correct equipment?

(From CQC 23rd April 2015)

'Whilst there is no mandatory requirement for the equipment below, a practice could be in a difficult position from a medico-legal point of view if a patient came to harm during dental treatment due to the lack of emergency medicines and equipment listed under 'recommended practice'.

British National Formulary

To manage the more common medical emergencies encountered in general dental practices, the following drugs should be available:

  • Adrenaline Injection (1:1000, 1mg/ml)
  • Aspirin Dispersible (300mg)
  • Glucagon Injection (1mg)
  • Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) Spray (400micrograms / dose)
  • Midazolam (10mg) - Buccal, see appendix Viii.
  • Oral Gucse Solution / Tablets / Gel / Powder
  • Oxygen
  • Salbutamol Aerosol Inhaler (100micrograms / actuation)

Resuscitation UK Guidelines

November 2013: Minimum equipment list for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in Primary Dental Care.

The following is the minimum equipment recommended:

  • Adhesive Defibrillator Pads
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
  • Clear Face Masks for Self-inflating Bag (Size 0, 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Oropharyngeal Airways (Sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Oxygen Cylinder (CD Size)
  • Oxygen Masks with Reservoir
  • Oxygen Tubing
  • Pocket Mask with Oxygen Port
  • Portable Suction e.g. Yankauer
  • Protective Equipment - Gloves, Aprons, Eye Protection etc.
  • Razor
  • Scissors
  • Self-inflating Bag with Reservoir (adult)
  • Self-inflating Bag with Reservoir (child)

Oxygen cylinders should be of sufficient size to be easily portable but also allow for adequate flow rates, e.g. 15 litres per minute, until the arrival of an ambulance or the patient fully recovers. A full 'D' size cylinder contains 340 litres of oxygen and should allow a flow rate of 15 litres per minute for approximately 20 minutes.


Anaphylatic Shock

In the very dangerous situation of anaphylatic shock it is recommended (not essential) for a dental practice to purchase the auto adrenaline injections for easy yse in this possible life or death situation.

'The use of intravenous drugs for medical emergencies in a general dental practice is to be discouraged. Intramuscular, inhalational, sublingual, buccal and intranasal routes are all much quicker to administer drugs in an emergency.'


CQC Myth Buster

The CQC Myth Buster failed to mention the following equipment which is recommended by the Resuscitation Council 2013:

  • Single use sterile syringes and needles
  • 'Spacer' device for inhaled bronchodilators
  • Automated blood glucose measurement device