AAP Positional Letter
June 8, 2016
Chairman Jerry Hill
Senate Committee on Business and Professions
State Capitol Room 2053
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2235 (Thurmond) – AAP-CA – Dental Anesthetic- SPONSOR
Dear Chairman Hill:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA) representing over 5,000 California pediatricians strongly supports AB 2235 (Thurmond). This bill would increase the safety of administering general anesthesia and sedation to children in outpatient settings by requiring the California Dental Board to study appropriate safety regulations for pediatric anesthesia and to create a database of adverse events linked to dental anesthesia for epidemiological study.
Available reports show that 55 people died in California from dental anesthesia between 2008 and 2011, and at least four children died in California while under anesthesia in a dental office in 2015 alone. In contrast, a large study of adverse events from anesthesia administered in medical outpatient facilities reported zero deaths.
The American Academy of Pediatrics in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has released guidelines calling for improvement in safety and outcomes during sedation of children in dental offices. Specifically, the guidelines recognize that “children in this age group (younger than 6) are particularly vulnerable to the sedating medication’s effects”.
Under AB 2235 the California Dental Board would establish a committee to review the safety of pediatric anesthesia in dental offices and other states’ regulations of those procedures. To improve data collection, licensed dentists who administer anesthesia would provide information on the differing practices and safety requirements currently in place.
These steps would help evaluate how current use of anesthesia aligns with best practices. Lastly, to provide necessary expertise the committee would be comprised of a mix of oral surgeons, anesthesiologists and pediatricians.
Pediatricians urge your AYE vote on AB 2235 (Thurmond). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer
American Academy of Pediatrics, California