ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion
aroraborealis

excitement in dentist appointment

I had an unusually strange experience at my dentist's office today, when the person who had the cleaning appointment ahead of me passed out and stopped breathing after her cleaning. Apparently, she hadn't been to the dentist in a while, and she had a shocky reaction to what was a rather difficult cleaning. Fortunately, she was able to hold it together enough to call for help before passing out, and the hygienist caught her and got me to help with laying her down on the ground. The woman was positively green, teeth clenched, eyes open by not present. At that point, she wasn't breathing, and the hygienist administered one rescue breath, which got her system moving again, apparently, because she drew in a loud, long breath and started to wake up, gasping.

The EMTs and firefighters arrived within about 2 minutes of the call, and were all ready for serious work, since at the time that the receptionist called, the story was that the woman wasn't breathing. They seemed a little let-down that there wasn't much for all 8 of them to do, and after doing an assessment of the situation, and a run-down with the fainter, they all left. She was fine, after a granola bar and some water, and walked out on her own two feet a few minutes later.


Needless to say, this was a lot of excitement for before 10am, and the hygienist wasn't sure she was up for doing my cleaning. After debriefing about it for a while, she decided that she could go ahead, so it was back to the routine, sort of. I don't think that was the most thorough cleaning of my life, though.

The craziest things about all this, though, is that the dentist's office doesn't have masks for administering rescue breathing, and their receptionist hasn't been trained in CPR or first aid. This seems incredibly stupid to me, given that they're providing medical services. The hygienist had just refreshed her own CPR training, but for her to be alone in the office (apparently, no dentist comes in Thursday mornings) without anyone to help, other than the receptionist who doesn't know how, just seems absurd.

Nothing about that had a huge impact on me, really, other than making my appointment rather quicker than it would have been otherwise, but it was all so surreal and panicked that it set my day askew. I managed to work pretty much a full day, but my concentration kept wandering, and I had to redo several tasks after screwing them up the first time, so although I got things done today, it ultimately feels like it was largely wasted.

In other news, I am now motivated to re-up my CPR and First Aid certifications. I was talking about doing this anyway in the lead up to the Peace Corps, and there's no reason to wait. I know some of you said you would be interested, and if you still are, I've inquired about a full-day course in Cambridge on March 5 that covers first aid and adult, child and infant CPR. If there's space, I'll happily let folks who are interested know.
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