If a medical emergency occurs in the dental practice, members of the dental team must be able to respond promptly, effectively and safely. Fundamental to this response is knowing when it is necessary to call 999 for an ambulance and communicating effectively with the ambulance service to ensure the timely arrival of the emergency services and timely transfer to hospital. This can be helped by using the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP’s) National Early Warning Score (NEWS) 2, widely used by the ambulance service and in hospitals – it reliably detects deterioration in adults, triggering review, treatment and escalation of care. Although NEWS2 hasn’t yet been validated for use in primary care, NHS England is encouraging its widespread use in this sector. Using NEWS2 in the dental practice will help the dental team to effectively, confidently and safely manage medical emergencies, including sepsis, should they arise. This will facilitate effective teamwork and help to ensure enhanced patient outcomes. This article provides an overview of NEWS2, including benefits for using it in the dental practice and guidance on how to implement it.

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PubMed