Patients who received APAP prior to surgery had better postoperative results. Researchers at the University of Toronto came to the conclusion after examining 177 patients with an apnea-hypopnea index of more than 15 events per hour in a randomized controlled trial, the results of which were published in the October 2013 issue of Anesthesiology.
According to a press release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), 87 participants received APAP for two to three nights before surgery, and five nights after surgery, while 90 participants received routine care. One hundred patients completed the study. Patients who received APAP did so for 2.4 to 4.6 hours per night.
“Postoperatively, patients who received APAP did better,” said ASA officials via press release. “Participants who received APAP had a median apnea-hypopnea index of three events per hour on the third postoperative night, while control patients had a median of 32 events per hour. Patients who received CPAP also had better oxygenation in the postoperative nights.”
Researchers hope the findings will encourage patients with OSA to use APAP, especially since daily compliance with the machine can be low. “Some patients are concerned that the machine will be uncomfortable,” noted Frances Chung, M.B.B.S., professor, Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, Ontario. “However, many adjust quickly and find its benefits very rewarding, especially in reducing depression and motor vehicle accidents due to troublesome sleep.”