Having Surgery? STOP and Take This Test First!

(OSA) puts patients at risk of complications when undergoing surgery and anesthesia.

Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) surgical patients are known to more complications after surgery and anesthesia including difficult intubation, postoperative complications, increased intensive care admissions and longer hospital stays.

However, according to Lee Brown, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Director of the UNM Sleep Disorders Center, a few simple questions can determine if a person may have OSA and give them an opportunity to be treated for the condition before going under the knife. \

A new tool reported recently in the Journal of Anesthesiology, is called STOP and consists of the following four questions:

S: Do you snore loudly?

T: Do you often feel tired, fatigued or sleepy during the daytime?

O: Has anyone observed you stop breathing during sleep?

P: Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?

Answering "yes" to one or more of the questions should trigger an evaluation for OSA prior to surgery.

"Identifying patients with OSA is the first step in preventing postoperative complications," said Brown. “If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then speak with your medical team about undergoing an evaluation before surgery.”

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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