Aim: To assess escorts' understanding of their responsibilities to the patient 24 hours following dental treatment under intravenous sedation.
Standards: One hundred per cent of escorts: have been informed of their duties, have read the information sheet, expect at least a one hour appointment, identify the hazardous activities patients should avoid following sedation, travel by private transport, are aware that medications are taken as normal, should have care in place 24 hours following sedation.
Method: This was a prospective questionnaire-based audit. Questionnaires were handed to escorts of patients receiving treatment under intravenous sedation in Newcastle Dental Hospital sedation department.
Results: Of 104 responses, 91.3% of escorts were informed about their duties and 79.8% had read the information sheet prior to the appointment. Boiling a kettle and Internet use were the most selected hazardous activities that escorts deemed safe for patients to carry out postoperatively (19.2%, 23.0%.) Private transport home was mainly used (car 73.1%, taxi 24.9%.) Following sedation, 93.3% of patients had an escort for 24 hours.
Conclusion: Escorts' basic knowledge fell short of the standard. Improvements are needed to ensure patient safety.
Recommendations: At the pre-assessment, the patient might be given an information sheet solely for the escort and encouraged to explain this to the escort. More comprehensive information listing activities hazardous to the patient 24 hours following sedation and emphasising that taking medications as normal preoperatively could be available on the treatment day. Transport information in the appointment letter might improve access. A Trust website link, a DVD and posters in the waiting room could further inform.