Hospital Screens Surgery Patients for Sleep Apnea

1 decade 1 year 8 months ago Friday, September 08 2006 Sep 8, 2006 Friday, September 08, 2006 8:04:01 PM CDT September 08, 2006 in News
Source: (Copyright 2007 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.)
ST. LOUIS - Barnes-Jewish Hospital is screening surgery patients for obstructive sleep apnea after a 40-year-old patient stopped breathing, went into a persistent vegetative state and died. OSA occurs when a person stops breathing during sleep. Usually, low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood wake up the sleeper. But an anesthetic or powerful pain medicine may prevent the person from waking up, resulting in respiratory arrest. The hospital has set up a task force to identify surgical patients with sleep apnea and modify their care to ensure their safety. The hospital also will present its initiative at next month's annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

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