Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 101-108

Perioperative care of obstructive sleep apnea patients: A survey of European anesthesiologists

1 Department of Anesthesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
2 Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
3 Department of Anesthesia, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
4 Salem Anaesthesia Pain Clinic, Surrey, Vancouver, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Olumuyiwa A Bamgbade
Department of Anesthesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.sja_1010_20

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Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is prevalent in the surgical patient population and is associated with high risk of perioperative complications. There are limited guidelines and wide practice variations regarding the perioperative care of obese and OSA patients. This is a study of European anesthesiologists' clinical practice of perioperative care of OSA patients. Methods: This survey evaluated United Kingdom anesthesiologists' clinical practice of the perioperative care of OSA patients. Outcomes and variables were compared between 4100 anesthesiologists of different clinical experience and hospital settings. Results: Approximately 45% of respondents manage OSA patients rarely, 42% occasionally, and 13% regularly. Most respondents order OSA screening tests if patients have tonsillar hypertrophy, head/neck tumor, BMI >35, increased neck circumference, craniofacial anomaly, and right-sided electrocardiography (ECG) anomaly. Majority request preoperative polysomnography, ECG, overnight pulse oximetry, and arterial blood gas analysis. Majority recommend preoperative weight loss, optimisation, smoking cessation, reduction of substance use, and regular mask-CPAP use. Majority consider endoscopy, and ophthalmology as appropriate day case procedures, but not laparoscopy. Majority postpone elective airway, laparoscopic, laparotomy, and head/neck surgery; if patients are not optimized preoperatively. For major surgery, combined general + neuraxial anesthesia was ranked as 3rd option. For major limb surgery, neuraxial anesthesia without sedation was ranked as 1st option, nerve block without sedation was ranked 2nd, and general anesthesia + nerve block was ranked 3rd or 4th. At anesthesia emergence, majority ensure that patients have normal consciousness, respiration and neuromuscular function. Majority ensure postoperative oximetry, telemetry, and oxygen supplementation. Conclusion: This study highlights variations in anesthesiologists' perioperative care of OSA patients; even in developed countries with advanced medical training and standards. The study outcomes will improve perioperative care of OSA patients.

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