The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) released its newly enhanced Ambulatory Surgery Considerations for Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea toolkit that provides guidance for preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care. 

The toolkit emphasizes that health care providers must be equipped with updated knowledge on how to effectively identify and ensure the safety of patients with obesity and/or obstructive sleep apnea throughout the surgical process. 

“As obesity continues to rise, health care providers must prioritize the safety and well-being of patients with these pre-existing conditions. Applying established guidelines for treating individuals with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea not only ensures their physical safety during procedures but also underscores our commitment to helping deliver patient-centered care,” says Julie Lynch, director of the Institute for Quality Improvement at AAAHC, in a release. “By incorporating specialized protocols into their practices, health care facilities demonstrate their dedication to addressing the unique needs of patients, fostering excellence in ambulatory care.” 

Highlights of the updated toolkit include guidance for preprocedure, intraprocedure, and postprocedure considerations, comorbidities, and updated considerations for obese patients who previously contracted COVID-19. 

A flowchart in the toolkit serves as a pre-procedure assessment resource for health care providers, weighing factors such as a patient’s body mass index, sedation levels, and the presence of any preexisting conditions that might pose surgery-related challenges. 

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