Advanced Cardiac Life Saving Certification - Robert A. Morabito, DDS

Why Dr. Robert Morabito and His Dental Team Chose to Take the Dental Advanced Life Support Training Course 

 Dr. Morabito practicing CPR
Dr. Morabito is practicing a cardiac arrest in Tennessee to renew Advanced Cardiac Life Saving Certification

Creating great smiles is an everyday event at our Falls Church dental office.  But sometimes, for unforeseen reasons, medical emergencies do happen, and we need to be prepared.  In emergencies, seconds count and our dental team is continuously training.  We are prepared, and we have the equipment.

Anyone in medicine will tell you the same thing – be prepared, and practice, practice, practice.  You never know when something is going to turn south on you causing a medical emergency.  Dental offices are only required to take CPR every other year.  I firmly believe that more is needed, and to that end, we have the top ER nurse at Fairfax Hospital come to our office and work one on one with each of us to improve and engrain the skills of CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator), and emergency meds.   Several times a year, we internally review our procedures and practice simulated scenarios led by our emergency coordinator – Jenae.

As our population continues to age coupled with the growing medical complications and the ever-increasing number and types of medications, we must be prepared.  With all the above, comes more dental needs, and more complicated scenarios.  Managing and helping our patients weave their way through the medical situations and how it inter-mixes with oral health is something that Janae and I have a passion for.  There are absolutely directly and indirectly adverse effects of medications, health, and happiness that go both ways.  The state of one’s oral health truly is reflective of overall health.  For the past 12 years, I have taken part in the Master Series – Advanced Sedation, presented by world-renowned doctors Tony Feck and Leslie Fang in order to learn to safely manage our dental patients with asthma, diabetes, bleeding disorders, and more.  

Additionally, I routinely participate in a hands-on course called Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) which is the next level above CPR and dives much deeper into managing cardiac issues. In these courses, we learn the critical skills required to respond to respiratory failure, airway obstruction, cardiac problems and an acute allergic reaction.  Classes are taught by instructors who actually help to develop the CPR and paramedic protocol-md-6s.  In the hands-on course, we utilize the most advanced patient simulators in order to gain hands-on experience using equipment and emergency medications likely to occur in a dental office.  

Dr. Robert Morabito


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An Interview with Dr. Robert Morabito

Having more than twenty years of dental experience, Dr. Morabito has had several unforeseen situations occur which required fast action, and in some cases outside medical help.  Here’s a quick interview with Dr. Morabito talking about how this training prepared him and his dental team to be lifesavers. 

You have used sedation in your dental practice for how many years?
In 2001, I met a new patient, Margaret, who truly opened my eyes.  She came to our office three times, but twice could not get out of the car due to anxiety.  On the third trip, it took 30 minutes of coaching and hand holding by Lourdes, one of my business team, to simply get her from the car into the office.  It had nothing to do with money, but rather incomprehensible fear.  In fact, when I tried to take x-rays and do an exam, she refused out of embarrassment.  During the entire 30 minute consultation, she held her hands over her mouth so no one could see the condition of her teeth.  In fact, she refused my request to simply look in her mouth until she was sedated.  I distinctly remember her saying in response to my question – “How can I tell what you need and how I can help you if you won’t let me look.”  She responded – “That’s your problem!!!” That’s when I decided to get certified in oral sedation, nitrous oxide.

Why did you decide to take the Advanced Cardiac Life Support training?

As a dental student, I witnessed a few medical complications including a stroke, syncope (fainting) and an epileptic seizure. As my career advanced, my skills grew, our attention evolved towards handling more complex and larger cases.  With larger cases, sedation was often necessary and coupled with that the need for Advanced Cardiac Life Saving (ACLS).  With more advanced training we can also manage an older population and those that have more complex medical issues.

Have you had any circumstances when you have used this training?
My assistant was talking to a patient in an adjacent room.  She recognized that something wasn’t quite right and retrieved me to evaluate the situation.  Within moments, I recognized she was probably having a stroke or a TIA and began to implement our emergency protocol-md-6s.  Step one is to get oxygen and laughing gas to the patient quickly.  So, I retrieved the oxygen and the nitrous. My team performed flawlessly with all aspects of the emergency and the rescue squad arrived to take her to the hospital.  I was filled with pride looking around and appreciating how well my team had performed.

That's an amazing story. How do you think Dental Advanced Life Support training will help in your dental practice?
When you are faced with an emergency like this in your practice, it’s difficult to understand the real level of preparedness needed to handle what may come your way. This training has made us aware of a variety of circumstances and how to effectively deal with them. 
We have had other cases such as panic attacks, diabetic emergency, syncope, incredibly high blood pressure, and a case of atrial fibrillation.  Interestingly, not one of these situations arose due to our dental care, but each and every time our team worked like clockwork from recognizing the situation, implementing our protocol-md-6s, and all while doing it calmly and professionally.  

It’s a wonderful feeling to walk into my practice and know that if a patient should experience an emergency, my team and I are trained in providing this type of response care. Contact our office for more information or to schedule a visit.


Read what people are saying about us.

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Dr. Morabito and your wonderful staff - Thank you so much for your kind, welcoming, and kid-friendly attention you gave me and my sons when we came in for the Harrison's 1st dental checkup. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

The Harrisons

Dr. Morabito is an awesome dentist, a great personality with the hift of humor, he is personable, and amazingly manages to choose the very best people to work for him. They are all excellent and most of all - caring and genuine. And with my dental problems, believe me I have had my share of being treated like a "number." I recently flew back to Falls Church from Kansas City to have him do my implants, because I don't trust anyone else.

Lynn S.

Dr. Morabito is a rare man: intellectual, very professional, very sensitive and practical to his patients. HIS STAFF: ADIMINISTRATION, DENTAL HYGENISTS, DENTAL ASSISTANTS , entertainment, and a charitable character are exceptionally capable, as he demands. If his practice were a fine hotel, his ZAGAT rating would be the highest. Dr. Morabito is an exceptional man! His professional associations keep him in the forefront of the latest methods and technology. He is excellent with the fearful and anxious patients and makes them feel confident. He is great in all the technical aspects of dentistry. He makes thousands of patients look better and feel great about themselves. You can feel secure in knowing that Dr. Morabito is the only dentist you will need, and he is affordable with a variety of financial plans. All aspects are well explained. If you want a great dentist, see Dr. Morabito and his charming and professional staff that will make you comfortable like family.

Michael C.

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