Study suggests sleep apnea screening before surgery

24 September 

New research has suggested that medical staff may need to screen and treat patients for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before they have surgery. 

The study, which is the first of its kind, found that patients who have the condition and who are treated before a medical procedure are less likely to suffer serious heart problems, such as cardiac arrest.

Published in the October edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the study compared postoperative outcomes in more than 4,000 patients with OSA, who were diagnosed by sleep study either before or after surgery. These were then compared with a group that did not have the condition.

It found that those who were diagnosed with OSA prior to surgery were prescribed treatment with continuous positive airway pressure therapy, which supported their breathing throughout the procedure.

Patients that were untreated had an increased risk of developing heart complications, while those who were treated before surgery were less than half as likely to experience these problems.

The team found that respiratory complications were twice as likely to occur in patients with OSA, compared to those without the condition.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 

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