Article: Volume 44 Number 10 Page 1003 - November 2017

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  Dent Update 2017; 44: 1003-1009

Medical Emergency:  ABCDE Assessment and the Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

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Abstract: Whilst life-threatening emergencies are a rare occurrence in dental practice, a sound knowledge of the assessment of the critically unwell patient is vital for a positive patient outcome in a medical emergency. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are now routine equipment in the out-of-hospital resuscitation of cardiac arrest and their use in dental practice is expected. This paper will discuss the assessment of the unwell adult patient using the Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability and Exposure (ABCDE) approach and the management of an adult cardiac arrest.

Clinical relevance: Clinicians should be aware of the correct assessment of a critically unwell patient and the management of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA)

Author notes: Andrew Steele, BSc, BDS MFDS, MB BCh BAO, Anaesthetic Core Trainee, Northern Ireland Deanery; Mark Greenwood, MDS FDS, MB ChB, PhD, FRCS FHEA, Honorary Clinical Professor of Medical Education in Dentistry, Consultant in Maxillofacial Surgery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Hannah Desai, BDS, MFDS, CertClinEd FHEA, Specialty Clinical Teaching Fellow, School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4BW, UK.

Objective: To describe the assessment of a critically unwell patient and the management of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

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