Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the Adult Perioperative Patient

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic condition of upper airway obstruction during sleep. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and increases the perioperative risks of surgical patients. Thus, it is essential that perianesthesia nurses understand how to identify and manage patients with known or suspected OSA. This continuing education article will review the pathophysiology of OSA, discuss the effects of anesthesia and opioids on the sleep architecture of the OSA patients, describe the effects of OSA on postoperative complications, review the latest evidence on screening for undiagnosed OSA in the adult surgical patient, and review the perioperative management principles for patients with OSA.

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