Medical Emergency Preparedness among Dental Practitioners in Nairobi, Kenya
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Objective: To investigate the preparedness levels among dental practitioners in Nairobi city to manage medical emergencies that may occur in their dental clinics. Setting: The central business district in Nairobi city. Methods: Personal administration of a semi-structured questionnaire. Results: While the targeted population was 382, the response rate was only 31.4% (120) of the dental practitioners. Among the respondents, 62% had a special medical emergency kit, yet only 32% were trained and certified in additional medical emergency management. 25% of the participants had also been certified in basic life support and proficiency. 92% of the respondents indicated that they had encountered medical emergencies in their surgeries, but 68% of them were unaware of any guidelines formulated by any dental authorities on the subject of medical emergencies in the dental office. Interestingly, only 34% of the 38 respondents who were aware of any such guidelines felt they were sufficient and comprehensive. Conclusions: Evidently, the majority of the respondents were less than satisfactorily prepared to manage medical emergencies in their surgeries. Furthermore, most among those practitioners who kept special medical emergency kits had no prior training or certification in emergency management.