Severe allergic reactions are scary and timing is critical when a dental office patient could be experiencing anaphylaxis. An epinephrine auto-injector remains the fastest way to administer a life-saving dose of epinephrine. Fortunately, a recent health emergency had a good outcome thanks to quick thinking—and a dental office prepared with an emergency medical kit.
Young Patient Develops Severe Reaction
The FIGHT Community Health Center in Philadelphia provides several services to their at-risk and HIV/AIDS patients, including dental services as well as a dining room where drop-in patients can get a warm meal. Recently, one of their patients, a 14-year-old boy, was enjoying a seafood dinner in the FIGHT dining room when he suddenly developed an allergic reaction to the shellfish.
The boy immediately reported to the dining room staff that his mouth felt dry and his mouth and palms felt itchy. The staff could see he was developing a rash around his neck and ears. The culinary staff, realizing this was an emergency, immediately called for medical assistance.
A clinical team rushed in and by this time the boy was having difficulty breathing and speaking. The RN in the group had grabbed the HealthFirst SM-Z Emergency Medical Kit from the dental office near the nurses’ station one floor below. The kit comes prepared with a pediatric epinephrine auto-injector. The nurse removed it from the kit and injected the boy with epinephrine. Soon he was breathing easier and able to talk. The rash, dry mouth, and itchiness all disappeared.
As a precaution, the boy was taken to a neighboring hospital for further observation. It’s not known if he was previously aware he was allergic to seafood, but fortunately the staff knew they had an Emergency Medical Kit containing key lifesaving drugs. Thanks to the clinical team’s quick action, a critical situation was eased.
In 2014, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a study showing allergies among children had increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011 to 1 in 13 kids, or about two per classroom. Hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold in the last decade. While there is no clear answer as to why food allergies are on the rise, what is clear is it is more important than ever to have an emergency kit nearby stocked with the right kinds of lifesaving drugs.
Emergency Medical Kit Vital for Patient Safety
In a survey of over 4,000 North American dentists, more than 30,000 emergencies were reported over the lifespan of their practice. To help protect the lives and health of patients, HealthFirst has developed emergency response solutions such as our emergency medical kits. Our kits provide the medications and devices required to respond to medical emergencies in and around a practice. As an additional critical factor in safety and quality, HealthFirst offers an automatic refill system that maintains kits by continually replacing any soon-to-expire contents with fresh products.
Stay prepared to tackle any emergency in your office or even a floor away with the HealthFirst dental emergency kit—providing organization and mobility to a practice’s emergency medications, supplies, and devices. To learn more, visit www.healthfirst.com.