Researchers improve safety for patients with obstructive sleep apnea
From left: Chris Arndt, MD, Katie Reyes, MD, and Tim Petersen, PhD
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is thought to affect about five percent of adults in the United States. Many patients remain undiagnosed, however, resulting in additional risk of perioperative breathing-related complications. Ambulatory surgical centers may then experience a high rate of same-day cancellations and unanticipated admissions due to OSA.
Following guidelines published by the Anesthesiologists Task Force on perioperative management of OSA patients, Katie Reyes, MD, Chris Arndt, MD, and Tim Petersen, PhD, of the Department of Anesthesiology sought to reduce these burdens for our patients. They have developed a standardized screening tool based on the STOP-BANG scoring model to identify patients at higher risk for severe OSA. Thanks to the dedication of our perioperative nursing staff who now routinely use the screening tool, more patients at high risk are identified preoperatively so that appropriate precautions can be taken. Among other steps, those who use a CPAP breathing device are asked to bring it along on the day of surgery for possible use in the immediate post-operative period. The team also developed a special discharge instruction sheet for OSA patients, which is now available in patient-friendly format in three languages.
A description of this effort, the screening tool, and the discharge instruction sheet are available online at the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia’s newsletter.
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