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Washington State Dental Association

DQAC rescinds repeal of AED rule, and other news

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) has rescinded the repeal of its new rule requiring automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in dental offices. At its May 1 meeting, DQAC reversed the decision made on March 19 to repeal the rule.

While this leaves the original rule (WAC 246-817-722) in effect, DQAC has also begun the administrative process to amend the rule with attention to two issues: exempting offices which administer only topical anesthetics and allowing adjoining offices to jointly comply with the rule using a single AED.

Because opposition to repealing the rule was expressed, DQAC was unable to use the states expedited repeal process. If approved, the revised rule would likely not be effective until March 2010. DQAC members clarified that the commission does have discretion in not pursuing complaints regarding AEDs in the interim.

The WSDA advises that dentists should individually determine when to acquire any specific equipment.

Questions or comments on DQACs AED rule should be directed to Jennifer Santiago, DQAC program manager, at (360) 236-4893 or by e-mail to

Dentists are strongly urged to sign up for DQACs interested parties list serve, as DQAC will only provide notification of rule changes via email to those who are enrolled on the list serve. To enroll, go to


In other business:

DQAC heard a request from Terre Harris of Harris Biomedical to adopt the 2003 Centers for Disease Control infection control guidelines as part of DQAC rules. WAC 246-817-620, Use of Barrier and Sterilization Techniques, was adopted by DQAC in 1995. DQAC took no action on the request, but did schedule a briefing from the state Department of Labor and Industry to brief the commission on enforcement of infection controls under the blood borne pathogen rules (WAC 296-823).

DQAC approved a new general practice residency program that will be jointly operated by Swedish Hospital and Seattle Special Care Dental Clinic. DQACs approval allows residents in the program to obtain limited dental licenses, under provisions of a bill supported by WSDA in the 2009 legislative session. The residency will service dental patients undergoing treatment at Swedish for organ transplants, as well as medically complex and disabled patients. The residency begins July 1.

DQAC also gave conditional approval to Seattle Central Community Colleges Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary training program. The college will open the states third EFDA program in June. (For information regarding the EFDA program, contact Ona Canfield at: (206) 587-6922 or The WSDA advises that dentists should individually determine when to acquire any specific equipment. It may be a reasonable course to defer any purchase not already made until the revised rule is available.

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