Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) increases the risk of serious perioperative cardiorespiratory complications. Preoperative diagnosis and management of OSA will help to prevent adverse patient outcomes during the immediate postoperative period.
- Undiagnosed OSA is extremely common in the elective surgery population.
- Untreated moderate to severe OSA increases the risk of serious postoperative cardiorespiratory complications.
- The STOP–Bang questionnaire can help identify patients who require further investigation for OSA.
- An overnight diagnostic sleep test should be arranged if the STOP–Bang score is 3 or higher.
- Over the perioperative period, treatment for OSA should be optimised and continue uninterrupted.
- Ensure that patients with OSA are reviewed by their sleep physician, and that both the surgeon and anaesthetist are aware of the diagnosis.
Picture credit: © Michelle Graham