Q: What do you give a patient who is experiencing severe chest pain while in the dental chair?
(A). Nitroglycerin tablet
(B). Aspirin 325mg
(D). All of the above
Severe chest pain is called angina pectoris. It can also be a sign of MI (heart attack), and therefore, the clinician should immediately help the patient. In this case, use nitroglycerin tablets sublingually first. This helps to open the blood vessels and can, in turn, lowering the burden of the heart muscles that are causing chest pain. If the patient had episodes of angina previously, he/she should already know the signs of the condition and carry nitroglycerin with them. Other methods of treatment include:
If the pain is not relieved in 3-5 minutes with the methods above and with an increased amount of nitroglycerin, assume that it is an MI, not angina pectoris. Activate 911. Here is what the ADA journal says: “Oxygen is of primary importance in any medical emergency in which hypoxemia might be present. These emergencies include, but are not limited to, acute disturbances involving the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and central nervous system.”
Answer: (D). All of the above
Medical emergencies are important for all dental assisting board exams (RHS®, GC, ICE®, AMP®, and more).
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We hope that an emergency never happens in our #CDA life, but just in case something happens, let’s make sure that we know what needs to be done.
Author: Claire RDH, CDA, MS
Claire is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA – exams prep solutions for the dental hygiene and dental assisting students. The exam review online solutions quickly became the #1 choice among students. “Studying is now “addictive!”
Prior to her career in the dental field, Claire Jeong was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States and Canada. She can be reached at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com