This study was conducted to evaluate the ability of dental students to administer emergency oxygen to a patient during a simulated emergency. Forty third-year (D3) and fourth-year (D4) dental students were recruited and asked to demonstrate their ability in managing a simulated angina attack. Students were tested on their knowledge related to emergency medical protocols, the time taken to obtain oxygen, and operation of the oxygen equipment. Of the subjects tested, 68 percent independently identified the need for oxygen and the correct location of the equipment in the dental school. Only 15 percent of the students completed the experiment within a predetermined optimal time frame, and 50 percent of all students did not successfully operate the tank regulator to administer oxygen correctly. Although most participants in the study were able to verbalize the proper protocol for managing medical emergencies, the chairside execution in this situation demonstrates room for improvement. Incorporation of periodic simulation exercises, in addition to classroom education, is likely to improve the ability of dental students to manage medical emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-508
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Dental education
  • Dental students
  • Medical emergencies
  • Oxygen
  • Simulation


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