Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, wanted to know: What are the attitudes of physicians involved in the perioperative care of OSA patients? In particular, they sought to determine the attitudes of physicians practicing in the following specialties (750 of each specialty): anesthesiology; primary care (family practice or internal medicine); sleep; and general surgery.
According to the study “Attitudes regarding perioperative care of patients with OSA: a survey study of four specialties in the United States“, 94% felt OSA was a risk factor for perioperative complications (no difference by specialty) and 90% felt it was a moderate to major risk factor. Fifty-two percent reported experience with a patient having an adverse outcome related to OSA in the perioperative setting.
Despite this, only 71% reported regularly screening for OSA preoperatively, mostly by history and physical examination. Ultimately, the majority of physicians in this survey felt OSA was a significant risk factor for perioperative complications, and most reported experience with OSA patients having an adverse outcome.
“Perioperative management guidelines for OSA are not available at most institutions,” write researchers. “Further work is needed to help physicians identify and intervene on patients with OSA in the perioperative setting before adverse events develop.”