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Dental Anaesthesia

Volume 202: debated on Thursday 23 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will now publish his response to the Poswillo report on safety in dental anaesthesia.

The Poswillo report was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health's standing dental advisory committee and his response to the clinical recommendations of the report was published on 18 October 1991. The Secretary of State for Scotland concurred with his views and a similar paper was issued in Scotland on the same day. Funds of £1.2 million are being made available to health boards in 1992–93 to commence the implementation of the report's recommendations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list, for each year since 1965, the number of children under the age of 16 years who have died in Scotland while undergoing, or shortly after undergoing, general anaesthesia for dental treatment in (a) dentists' surgeries and (b) hospitals.

[holding answer 13 December 1991]: It is not possible to provide these numbers in the form requested. Death certificates from which the information has been taken do not always record that a death occurred under anaesthetic or shortly after it, nor, if death did occur under these circumstances, why or where the anaesthetic was administered. The figures include all deaths to children under the age of 16 years in Scotland where the death certificate did indicate that the death occurred during or following general anaesthesia and that the anaesthetic was administered during dental treatment.

YearNumber of deaths
19650
19661
19670
19680
19691
19700
19711
19720
19730
19741
19751
19760
19770
19780
19790
19800
19811

Year

Number of deaths

19820
19830
19840
19850
19860
198711
19880
19890
19901

1 The death in 1987 is one which is known to have occurred under the conditions requested but which could not be identified through the death certificate.

On Monday, 20 January I opened a new dental and oral surgery, orthodontus and endoscopy unit at Falkirk and Royal district hospital. The new unit will provide a high quality general anaesthetic service for community dentistry.