This fall we heard the terrible story of the sedation incident with young Amber Atwal in Edmonton. This child had a general anaesthetic (GA) sedation procedure provided by a dentist, after which she suffered a brain injury. My heart goes out to this family and, as a father myself, I understand why they are demanding answers.
Although this incident took place in another province, the College has fielded multiple requests for information about sedation dentistry. On one hand, I can reassure patients in B.C. that we do not allow a single-operator model for GA. I am very pleased to report that GA standards and guidelines were already at a very high level and were much safer than what was the standard in many other provinces. (You can read our statement here.)
On the other hand, the job of protecting the public is always evolving and, through the Sedation Committee, the Board is making the following changes:
At the same time, the committee will continue its ongoing work of inspecting all moderate, deep and GA facilities to ensure that they are complying with our requirements.
Led by Dr. Toby Bellamy, this committee is incredibly dedicated. I can tell you that I am impressed by both the work ethic and work volume from the committee members. I have a new-found respect for what this committee has accomplished, and for its focus on public protection.
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