Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Raven Marie Blanco Foundation

Raven Marie Blanco was killed by an overdose of drugs at the dental office of Dr. Michael Hechtkopf on March 7, 2007.  She left behind a grieving family who have taken their grief and are using it to awaken the dental community, who have been sleeping at the wheel.  

Children are dying, one a month since April 2010.  The RMBF is asking the ADA and other Dental Organization to take a stronger look at the reasons children are dying in droves.  The RMBF has created common sense solutions that will saves lives in the future. 

So far the American Dental Association has failed in protecting citizens, especially children, from deaths at the hands of dentists here in the United States. 


From The Raven Marie Blanco Foundation:

The recent rise in pediatric deaths due to dental visit complications is absolutely getting out of control!

RMBF needs your support now more than ever.

We are partnering with Dr. Larry Sangrik, DDS to bring a Continuing Education Memorial Lecture on the "Six Links of Survival" to the dental community in an effort to better prepare them to handle Medical Emergencies.

To honor Raven’s life and perpetuate her memory, we established RMBF. The mission of RMBF is two-fold. Financially, we seek to raise funds for causes which directly impact children.

Our 5-year plan calls for us to place 5000 automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) in areas of need across the country, give a grant to assist the dental health needs of underserved children and provide financial assistance for a building project to a South African orphanage.

The second mission of RMBF is to raise awareness within the dental profession about the need for medical emergency preparedness in dental offices. That objective has proved to be even more challenging than raising funds.

When RMBF began, our initial goal was to get dentists to purchase an AED for their office. As we have become more knowledgeable about medical emergency preparedness, we have learned that many of the leading authorities base dental office preparations around a concept called the Six Links of Survival. The Six Links of Survival was developed the Institute of Medical Emergency Preparedness [IMEP] as a medical emergency preparedness program and teaching tool for dentists.

RMBF partnered with Dr. Larry Sangrik to bring a Continuing Education Memorial Lecture on the Six Links of Survival to the dental community in hopes of reducing the amount of unprepared reactions to medical emergencies.

Dr. Sangrik is a nationally renowned speaker, who has lectured to over 7500 dental professionals on this topic.

Our intention is to raise awareness in the minds of dentists about the need to prepare their offices for medical emergencies. 

Six Links of Survival
-Regular dentist training
-Staff training
-Written office emergency manual
-Periodic mock emergency drills
-Proper emergency equipment
-Proper emergency medications
Since 1996 there have been 18 pediatric deaths related to dental complications. Mind you these are only the ones we know about.
That is 18 deaths in 14 years. At first glance the number is sad, but do you want to know something shocking? FOUR of the deaths occurred in the last FOUR months!
Yes, 22% of the deaths occurred in the last four months - add in Maddoux Cordova the 22-month old boy who died in December and you can clearly see that 1/3 of the deaths have happened within the last eight months!
The American Dental Association must update its medical emergency guidelines for dentists and they cannot deny our request that they hold a symposium to study the issue and the 6 Links concept in particular.

Pediatric deaths resulting from complications related to dental procedures are not a rarity people – they are an EPIDEMIC! RMBF will not take no for an answer.
RMBF sent out letters to the American Dental Association (ADA)
requesting that they pursue an update of its 2002 guidelines based on current knowledge, make the information easily accessible to dentists and to commit to regular monitoring of the recommendations to keep them timely.

  Raven Marie Blanco Foundation on Facebook - Keep up with the progress

  Raven Marie Blanco Foundation Website - You can help protect pediatric dental patients.

  Raven's Memorial Website


More children have died since the government has included dental care under Medicaid/SCHIP programs.  Of course this will be explained away as due to the increase in dental care.

If we are going to have those programs, of course dental as well as vision care should be included in Medicaid/SCHIP programs.

The argument to include dental care was that one child had died due to infection.  

Take a minute and meet the children who are now dead.  Many could have been prevented had common sense precautions been taken.

The ADA has not updated their guidelines since 2002!   With the increase in pediatric treatments and skyrocketing deaths this is just unacceptable.

It is hard to believe this foundation needs to exist, but the dental community is resisting adding lifesaving equipment, as an Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AED) to their repertoire. 

Illinois and Florida have had to pass laws requiring AED's in dental offices, which cost between $1200 - $1800.  However, many dentists are not maintaining or inspecting them on a regular basis, nor is the training in their use sufficient.  Read more here. 

As a side note here:  Papoose boards range from $300 - $500 each

Here is a comment from a dental forum regarding AED's:

I don't agree with making AEDs mandatory in ALL dental offices. When was the last time you went to a general practitioner MD's office and he had an AED on hand? It's ludicrous. Now, if you're doing sedation procedures, as this dentist was, then, you are a FOOL to not have such equipment, along with a pulse oximeter. I can't believe he didn't have one. He obviously didn't know how to titrate his dosage properly either, seeing that her blood levels were 3 times the level considered safe for a child her weight. Does the board in his state not regulate who can and who cannot practice sedation??? Here, in Louisiana, we can't even write for Valium for oral sedation as of a couple of years ago without first being re-certified in oral conscious sedation, regardless of how long you have been in practice and doing so.

In Illinois, the law will not apply to dentists who use only local anesthetics such as lidocaine or articaine.  The original legislation included ALL office, but thanks to the Illinois State Dental Society, it was amended.  Thank you so much ISDS. (sarcasm) Read more here.

Dental office can purchase one through the drive-thru sedation training called DOCS