ADA News has published a letter by Dr. Stanley Malamed confirming that dental practices must have epinephrine auto-injectors to be prepared for anaphylactic emergencies. Dr. Malamed is a dentist anesthesiologist, professor of anesthesia and medicine for 43 years, author of a textbook on emergency medicine, and member of the HealthFirst Medical Advisory Board.
In his letter, Dr. Malamed responds directly to an opinion article by Dr. Larry Sangrik, who questions the importance of epinephrine auto-injectors in dental offices. Dr. Malamed states, “Epinephrine is the most important drug in the emergency kit.” He then explains why the speed and simplicity of epinephrine auto-injectors (such as Impax pens or EpiPens) are critical for dental offices.
Key reasons why epinephrine auto-injectors are needed
Some of the Dr. Malamed’s key reasons for dental practices to have epinephrine auto-injectors include:
- Most dental offices are not prepared to recognize and treat medical emergencies
- Many dentists who have emergency drugs are untrained in their administration
- Most dentists have not been trained to load a syringe from an ampule
- It is challenging, even for well-trained healthcare providers, to load a syringe and administer an injection while under the pressure of a medical emergency
- Epinephrine auto-injector syringes (such as Impax pens or EpiPens) are used both on emergency ambulances (e.g. 911) by paramedics, as well as in the emergency department of hospitals by well-trained critical care physicians
A dental necessity
Dr. Malamed’s letter to ADA News is a strong reminder that all dental offices should have epinephrine auto-injectors to respond to anaphylactic emergencies. It is important to keep the recommendation from a thought leader like Dr. Malamed in mind amidst the recent media controversy around Mylan and EpiPens. Dr. Malamed even concludes that epinephrine auto-injectors “are a dental necessity.”