Archive October 2018 XIX, No. 10

Wake Up to the Dangers of Sleep Apnea

5 key takeaways from the new OSA guideline.

Kendal Gapinski

Kendal Gapinski, Contributing Editor


Category: Outpatient Surgery > ENT
Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR
GASP Surgery can worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea, which is more common than many other diseases in surgical patients.

Did you know that it's believed that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is just as common — if not more common — than diabetes? Yet while it's standard to ask your patients if they have diabetes before surgery, many facilities still aren't checking patients for OSA before going under the knife, despite the risks associated with it.

"This population is at high risk of complications from surgery," says Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD, anesthesiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and one of the co-authors of the new intraoperative OSA guideline by the Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine (SASM). "This is a very common condition. We think amongst orthopedic patients that anywhere between 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 patients have OSA. That makes it potentially more common than many commonly known diseases in surgical patients."

Below, anesthesia experts share 5 of the highlights of the new SASM Guideline on Intraoperative Management of Adult Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea ( and how to best implement the recommendations at your facility.

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