AAOMS conference focuses on anesthesia patient safety

July 3, 2017

ROSEMONT, Ill. – To examine patient safety as it relates to anesthesia, 100 doctors representing a variety of dental and anesthesia specialties gathered at the first-ever Anesthesia Patient Safety Conference sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS).

A dozen doctors presented on patient safety topics such as anesthesia education, identification of at-risk patients before surgery, techniques for anesthesia administration and monitoring, emergency preparedness and the importance of simulation training for team members.

“Our primary concern is the safety of the patient,” said AAOMS President Douglas W. Fain, D.D.S., M.D., FACS. “AAOMS believes the ability to provide dental sedation in an ambulatory or office setting is both a privilege and a profound responsibility.”

AAOMS works to ensure practitioners who administer sedation in their offices are not only trained to administer the anesthesia but also are committed to ongoing continuing education to ensure they are aware of the latest equipment, drugs and techniques, Fain said.

Practitioners need to be knowledgeable, he said, about the importance of the physical evaluation and the relationship between patient health and the type, level and dosage of the anesthetic each receives. “And equally as important, practitioners need to be equipped with the appropriate monitoring and rescue equipment that assisting staff knows how and when to use,” he said.

In addition to AAOMS leaders, members of AAOMS committees, state dental boards and state OMS societies were on hand at the April 27 conference as well as representatives from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS), the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology (ADSA), the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA), the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) and the OMS National Insurance Company (OMSNIC).

AAOMS’s commitment to anesthesia patient safety is evident through a variety of initiatives, Fain said, including:

  • A comprehensive Office Anesthesia Evaluation Program that includes a renewal requirement every five years in order to retain active membership status in AAOMS and state OMS societies.
  • A national simulation program to practice and master critical techniques for administering and monitoring office-based anesthesia.
  • Continuing education programs for OMSs and their staff, including clinical-based courses at the AAOMS Annual Meeting and almost 20 online anesthesia courses.
  • Regular updates of the AAOMS Parameters of Care book to reflect clinical practice guidelines and the standards for treating patients receiving office-based anesthesia, including the equipment and monitoring procedures.
  • The Dental Anesthesia Assistants National Certification Examination – called DAANCE – a certification for OMS assistants to assure they are trained on the latest equipment and knowledgeable about new operatory procedures and techniques.
  • Requiring members to obtain and maintain certification in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (for those surgeons who treat pediatric patients).

“Through decades of experience, oral and maxillofacial surgeons have demonstrated the OMS anesthesia model has provided safe, dependable and high-quality specialty dental care,” Fain said.