Adverse Events in Dental Care: A Review Towards Notification
Authors: Vanessa Torres, Filipa Carvalho
Abstract: The occurrence of adverse events (AE) in healthcare represents a severe problem for the quality of care, due to unsafe or poor quality of healthcare service. Similar to many other healthcare environments, Dentistry entails inherent patient safety risks. Research on patient safety has been developed over the last decades, however, it is important to consider AE to improve patient safety in this care environment, as adequate reporting systems for this area of intervention are not known. Thus, the main aim of this study was to carry out a literature review to investigate AE exclusively related to dental care, and associated with the types of procedures that dentists perform and the tools used. Results will guide future studies, particularly related to their notification, as a way of promoting patient safety. The PubMed, Scopus and SciELO databases were used and the following keywords searched: “patient safety”, “adverse events”, “dental care”, “dental services” and “dentistry”, in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Observational studies, published in the last 10 years, were considered. Review studies, case reports and clinical trials were excluded. 56 articles were identified. The most common AE in dental care settings were: infections, delayed or failed diagnosis, allergies, errors in diagnosis and examination, errors in treatment planning or procedure, and accidental ingestion or inhalation of foreign objects, among others. Improving the knowledge on AE is important to encourage reporting, control and seek for tools that help manage care, and to promote improvements in care and patient safety. To conclude, the identification and recognition of AE, specific to this field of medical practice, is only the first step towards improving patient safety in dental care, through the development of specific notification systems. In future works, we intend to develop and validate an AE notification system adapted to the specificities of the dental field, using the clinical school of Dentistry at the University of Rio Verde as a study site.
Keywords: patient safety, adverse events, dental care, dental services, dentistry, notification systems
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