April 18, 2017
The Honorable Jerry Hill
Chair, Senate Business and Professions Committee
State Capitol, Room 2053
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 266-9343
RE: SB 501 (Glazer): Dentistry: Anesthesia and sedation
AAP-CA Position: OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED
Dear Chairman Hill:
Last year, the Dental Board of California recommended several ways to improve dental anesthesia safety, including, most importantly, banning the operator-anesthetist model for children under age seven. Leading experts have weighed in and, by consensus, agree that the Dental Board’s recommendation to require a separate, qualified anesthesia provider is critically important for the safety of young children undergoing specified anesthesia procedures in all settings. Any legislation on this subject should include the adoption of this recommendation. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly opposes SB 501 (Glazer), unless amended to include this most important provision.
The mission of the AAP-CA is to protect and promote the health and well-being of all children and youth living in California. Pediatricians have no financial interest in who administers and monitors anesthesia in a dental office—our interest stems solely from our mission to protect and promote children’s health and well-being.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, has published national guidelines (AAP-AAPD Guidelines) that set a standard of care for children undergoing sedation and anesthesia for dental procedures. We believe that all children, regardless of income, deserve one standard of care when they require sedation and anesthesia. The California Dental Board has recognized the need for higher standards of care for our state’s youngest residents by recommending further safety measures be taken in the administration of pediatric dental anesthesia, which would help bring state law in line with the AAP-AAPD guidelines.
AAP California is sponsor of AB 224 (Thurmond), which would fully implement the recommendations of the Dental Board of California, thus protecting California children in the way that the Board intends. We oppose SB 501 (Glazer) as written, as it offers a false sense of security that “something is being done” to prevent deaths of young children in dental chairs, while still permitting the use of the single operator-anesthetist model considered too dangerous for use in other health care settings.
Pediatricians respectfully urge your NO vote on SB 501 (Glazer), unless it is amended to include the requirement that for children under age 7 undergoing dental procedures, a separate qualified anesthesia provider be solely dedicated to providing deep sedation or general anesthesia.
We thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer
American Academy of Pediatrics, California
Cc: AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne; The Honorable Tony Thurmond; Members of the Senate Business and Professions Committee; Sarah Huchel, Consultant, Senate Business and Professions Committee