Dentist welcomes new defibrilator – and peace of mind

SafeTIC, the developers of the first Connected Operational Defibrillator in the UK, has rolled out the DOC defibrillator system into the UK with the installation of the automated defibrillator at a busy dentist in East Twickenham. 

The DOC defibrillator system from SafeTIC offers more than just an automated defibrillator. When deployed, the DOC system automatically triggers an alert and makes contact with an experienced helpdesk operator provided by Mondial Assistance, a world leader in remote medical services.

At the same time, a GPS signal gives the operator immediate notification of the exact location of the patient and a call to the emergency services is made.

Bridge Dental Centre, which has four dentists and treats hundreds of patients a month, has provided both NHS and private dentistry services to the local community since its opening in 1995.

Stephan Van Wyk, GDP at Bridge Dental Centre, took the decision to have the DOC defibrillator installed in his practice after SafeTIC made contact with him.

He says: ‘We have always wanted a defibrillator at this practice. The trouble was there are so many on the market, they are an expensive outlay, and we didn’t want the worry about maintenance. When SafeTIC called and explained about the back-up facilities, such as the connection to the support line and the daily maintenance checks, this really made it a worthwhile investment.’

The DOC defibrillator has been launched in partnership with Red Cross Training and each customer is provided with a 4-hour training package on how to operate the DOC®defibrillator in an emergency together with basic CPR training.

Red Cross Training visited Bridge Dental Centre shortly after the initial installation, which Stephan explained was of very good quality.

Stephan adds: ‘I found the training from the Red Cross Training team very efficient and helpful. By showing us how the DOC worked we all felt that the sole responsibility of helping someone in an emergency has been taken away from the practice; the DOC assistance service will be there to help us.’

With more than 124,000[i] people in the UK suffering from a heart attack each year, a defibrillator in any workplace, especially where there is a regular influx of people, is an important piece of equipment to have.

Although Bridge Dental Practice has never owned or used a defibrillator in the past, Stephan stressed it was important for businesses not to become complacent.

‘Although we are not required to have a defibrillator at the practice, it is a recommendation for dentists and regarded as best practice. We hope that we never have to use it, but we see having the DOC defibrillator as an extension of our customer service, it’s an added extra to help make our customers feel comfortable and reassured.’

In a European study from 2008, it was reported that 57% of dentists studied reported up to three emergencies, and 36% of the dentists reported up to 10 emergencies in a 12 month period[ii], proving that medical emergencies in dental practices can be more common than once perceived.

Stephan adds: ‘By law we are required to update our medical emergency knowledge each year, so the DOC system training provided by Red Cross Training has helped prepare our team and improved our competence in managing medical emergencies.’

‘In all, the DOC is a fantastic defibrillator because of the immediate contact to 999, this is very important to us. In the panic of the moment you know someone else will be taking care of the 999 call and the GPS feature will give the exact location of the incident. It really is a wonderful reassurance someone will be on their way while you can stay with the patient.’

The end result is a very professional, high tech piece of equipment that stands proudly in the practice, reassuring all customers who walk past it. Stephan explains: ‘The DOC looks professional and isn’t intrusive at all. I think for anyone who takes medical emergencies seriously and regards their patients as a top priority, the DOC defibrillator is an essential piece of equipment to have.’ 


[ii] Müller MP, Hänsel M, Stehr SN, Weber S, Koch T. A state-wide survey of
medical emergency management in dental practices: incidence of
emergencies and training experience. Emerg Med J. 2008; 25(5):296-300

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