Forum · Sleep Apnea Screening Prior to Surgery

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi All. I thought this article about the need for sleep apnea screening prior to surgery, posted on the Cleveland Clinic's website, might be interesting.

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/05/scheduled-for-surgery-heres-why-you-need-sleep-apnea-screening/

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[-] SusanR +0 points · over 2 years ago

Thanks Dan-- its a nice article from Cleveland Clinic! Also, patients on CPAP should remember to tell their surgeons and anesthesiologists about their sleep apnea and ask to bring their CPAP units to the hospital for use after surgery (or make arrangements to have a similar machine available).

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[-] 2Sleepy +0 points · over 2 years ago

Interesting article.

I am not currently scheduled for surgery.

Even though I have worked as a surgical nurse in the past, I would not have thought to mention sleep apnea to a surgeon or anesthesiologist. I am relatively new at using CPAP. The good news is that I did figure out that I need to use CPAP every night even if I am going away for an overnight or travelling for a more extended time.

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[-] TheresaS +0 points · over 2 years ago

I have noticed that many hospitals now ask if a patient has sleep apnea prior to surgery during the intake session. Not all pre-admission staff do, however. Quite important that those that have sleep apnea make the information known to the surgeon and anesthesiologist prior to surgery. Has anyone here had this experience?

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[-] Jorja +0 points · over 2 years ago

I also read recently that you should tell your dentist before any procedure that requires sedation. I'm very nervous at the dentist and needed some "sleep dentistry" for a badly infected tooth. My dentist confirmed that it is very important to tell him/her if you have sleep apnea.

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[-] CHW +0 points · over 2 years ago

@TheresaS, yes, I just had a massive knee surgery on May 21st and I swear that everyone asked about my CPAP. The more impressive thing, IMO, is that the medical staff noticed sleep apnea in my electronic medical record and raised the issue without me having to say a word!

I had my sleep apnea confirmed and was told to bring/asked whether I brought my CPAP during my pre-op phone call, pre-anesthesia appointment, scheduling consultation, arrival for surgery, anesthesia prep, and probably people after that I don't remember!

My CPAP traveled with me into Post-Op, but wasn't assembled until I was settled in my room later in the evening. The only suggestion I have is that you have a quick start guide or other brief setup instructions with the equipment since the respiratory therapist might be unfamiliar with your equipment.

If only my knee surgery were as straightforward! UGH!

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[-] DanM +1 point · over 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I have been asked about CPAP use prior to a medical procedure requiring sedation. I would have mentioned it, but I was impressed that I was asked first. As SusanR said, it is definitely important for healthcare providers considering sedation to know about a diagnosis of sleep apnea.

CHW--great suggestion about having a quick start guide or brief setup instructions. In my case, I was asked to set my machine up prior to the start of the procedure.

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[-] TheresaS +0 points · over 2 years ago

@DanM & @CHW - Glad to hear both your hospitals asked you about sleep apnea. Even happier to hear you were both ready to inform them had they not asked. Being proactive in your own health care is one of the most sensible things an individual can do!

Double high-fives to those that are sleep apnea advocates and spread the word to others. :-)

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[-] Arch +0 points · over 2 years ago

GREAT INFO!

My own 02 saturation drops to 80% without my CPAP at night and I know of patients that have saturations as low as 40%. Patients with OSA undergoing surgery are either intubated or put on CPAP during surgical procedures to maintain a proper 02 saturation.

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[-] IntelligentEmeraldJay4638 +0 points · almost 2 years ago

When I had shoulder surgery, I was told to bring my CPAP with me, which I did. Rather than use it, the nurse and my boyfriend kept poking me and telling me to breathe...or so I was told after I was fully conscious!

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[-] DanM +1 point · almost 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi @IntelligentEmeraldJay4638. I had a similar experience a few years ago after some sedation. Now, I take my CPAP machine with me and explicitly tell the anesthesiologist and medical staff that I have sleep apnea and want to be placed on my CPAP if I am asleep. On a recent visit to the hospital, I did exactly this and had a really great experience with the medical team. After making them aware of my sleep apnea, the medical team came to discuss my OSA with me and changed their plan for how I would be managed. I had a great experience because my team was well-versed in sleep apnea and the potential dangers related to anesthesia. I hope more patients will have conversations with their care teams, and more care teams will become educated about sleep apnea and the effects of medications on patients who have the condition. If you need to be sedated in the future, I would encourage you to ask to speak to the anesthesiologist and explain the seriousness of the situation, and be explicit in your wish to be placed on your treatment. Good luck!

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