Risks and Complications of Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea for the Perioperative Patient
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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is very common. An estimated 82% of men and 92% of women with moderate to severe sleep apnea have not been diagnosed. This potentially leaves patients at risk for perioperative complications. The perioperative risk of patients with OSA may be reduced by appropriate screening to detect undiagnosed OSA patients. OSA is a very serious condition that diminishes quality of life and is also associated with many common co-morbid conditions. Studies have documented an increased incidence of coronary artery diseases, hypertension, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular accidents, gastroesophageal reflux disease and other potentially life threatening conditions in patients with OSA. This paper provides information that is essential for Nurse Practitioners and other health care providers to screen and diagnose this very common and preventable health condition.