In their article, “Why Have Low Safety Standards for Dental Anesthesia?,” Annie Kaplan, MD, Michael Wong, JD, and Patricia Salber, MD, MBA provide an update on the effort to pass Caleb’s Law and improve safety standards for dental anesthesia.
The law was modified during the legislative process, signed into law and became effective in California as of January 1, 2017. It provided for collection of adverse event data, instituted a disclosure that anesthesia in dentistry is practiced differently than in medicine, and asked that the California dental board do a study on the safety for children undergoing anesthesia in dentistry and make recommendations to improve safety.
The complete Dental Board met last December and discussed the study and proposed recommendations. One of the recommendations they voted to approve required, for children under age seven undergoing deep sedation or general anesthesia, that there always be a dedicated qualified anesthesia provider who is tasked with the administration and monitoring of the patient through the recovery period.
However, the dental lobby, led by the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, introduced a competing bill that they claimed codified “some” of the recommendations. Notably, the dental lobby’s bill did not require a separate trained anesthesia provider to monitor children, even for the highest risk and youngest patients, ages 0 to 6-years old. Their bill and current practice would continue to allow for an unlicensed dental assistant to monitor patients of all ages.Why Have Low Safety Standards for Dental Anesthesia? Click To Tweet
To read the full article in the TheDoctorWeighsIn, please click here.