Tag: dentistry

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (March 4, 2017)

This week in #patientsafety, we shared an article on opioids in dentistry by Bradley Truax, MD. Outpatient Surgery covered our position statement on patient ambulation. From around the web, NPR wrote about dentists working to use fewer opioids, a hospital reduced nuisance alarms by 30%, and The Joint Commission issued a new Sentinel Event Alert on developing a culture of safety.


Patient Safety Tip of the Week: Dental Patient Safety. As part of our efforts to bring in expert viewpoints from across the #patientsafety community, we have reposted an article on dental patient safety (with permission).

Push to Make Ambulation a Key Patient Recovery Metric. Outpatient Surgery covered our position statement on patient ambulation.

From Around the Web:

Dentists Work To Ease Patients’ Pain With Fewer Opioids. Dr. Joel Funari performs some 300 tooth extractions annually at his private practice in Devon, Pa. He’s part of a group of dentists reassessing opioid prescribing guidelines in the state.

Hospital’s program reduces nuisance alarms 30 percent. Nurses at Palomar Health in California were part of a study designed to reduce alarm fatigue. The health system decreased its alarms by nearly 30 percent.

Sentinel Event Alert 57: The essential role of leadership in developing a safety culture. “Competent and thoughtful leaders contribute to improvements in safety and organizational culture,” says The Joint Commission.

No Child Should Ever Die from Elective Dental Anesthesia

By Annie Kaplan, MD, Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, PPAHS), and Patricia Salber, MD, MBA (Editor-in-Chief,  The Doctor Weighs In)

Caleb Sears was a healthy 6-year-old boy who was looking forward to ice cream treats after his elective dental surgery. Before his dental extraction, Caleb’s parents were told that, despite being generally safe, intravenous anesthesia has a risk of serious complications, including brain damage and death. What they weren’t told was that anesthesia standards of practice vary in different settings. And, most importantly, that the risk goes up substantially when the oral surgeon is responsible for monitoring the effects of anesthesia at the same time that he is doing the operation. Continue reading “No Child Should Ever Die from Elective Dental Anesthesia”

Dentistry and Death: More Laws or More Education?

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Editor’s Note: Last week, we asked whether the use of birth control is a patient safety risk because of possible development of blood clots. In this post, the question is – do we need more laws or more education to help prevent anesthesia-related deaths in dental procedures and oral surgery.

Most people would not associate dentistry with death – discomfort perhaps – but not death.

However, the death of Caleb Sears forces us to consider the possibility of death in dentistry – or, more accurately, oral surgery:

Caleb Sears was a healthy six-year-old living in the Bay Area. He was in his first year of elementary school and just starting to read and write. He loved playing with his little sister, climbing trees, singing Les Miserables, and making up funny stories about llamas and time machines. Continue reading “Dentistry and Death: More Laws or More Education?”