Decreasing the Risk for Postoperative Pulmonary Complications from Obstructive Sleep Apnea by Utilizing the STOP-Bang Questionnaire
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Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition affecting up to 26% of the general population and is the most common sleep disorder that practitioners will encounter. Patients presenting for a surgical procedure with obstructive sleep apnea, diagnosed or undiagnosed, have an increased risk for multiple perioperative complications. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the impact of evidence based perioperative management with short-acting narcotics on decreasing the postoperative respiratory complications in patients screening at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. This study was implemented at a small community hospital in the Midwest over a four-month period on 47 patients. The evidence-based interventions were implementation of the preoperative screening tool for obstructive sleep apnea and utilization of short-acting narcotics in patients undergoing general anesthesia who screened at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Outcomes measured included postoperative respiratory complications and unplanned intensive care unit admissions. The results of this study showed that at-risk patients for obstructive sleep apnea who received evidence based management interventions had a lower incidence rate of respiratory complications as well as intensive care unit admissions as compared to published findings. Through the use of evidence-based practice of screening and management of obstructive sleep apnea, quality of care may be enhanced for surgical patients at risk for complications from obstructive sleep apnea.