Patients who are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who have not been diagnosed tend to have worse surgery outcomes than patients without the condition, reports Medscape. 

OSA predisposes surgical patients to cardiopulmonary complications and intensive care unit admissions, so anesthesiologists routinely screen for it. Previous reports suggest that as many as 90% of patients with OSA present for surgery undiagnosed.

Dr. Fernandez-Bustamante and colleagues used the Epic Clarity Electronic Medical Record database at the University of Colorado Health to compare perioperative adverse respiratory events (ARE) and other outcomes between patients with a day-of-surgery screened OSA diagnosis (S-OSA) and those arriving for surgery already diagnosed with OSA (D-OSA).

The frequency of any perioperative ARE (hypoxemia events, difficult airway management, or both) was similar in S-OSA patients (68%) and D-OSA patients (71%), but much lower in patients without any OSA diagnosis (52%).

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