Improving Obstuctive Sleep Apnea Care in the Postanesthesia Care Unit

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to improve care of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients through increased staff recognition of OSA in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). Design: Retrospective chart review with implementation of best practice guideline form to front of patient's chart. Methods: Baseline data were collected during June 2020. Staff education was provided on current hospital policy of OSA patients. Implementation of a care guideline sheet was added to the front of patient charts for patients meeting inclusion criteria; it consisted of continuous pulse oximetry, 30-degree head of bed elevation, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, 1 hour minimum postoperative observation, nonopioid analgesics, and referral to polysomnography. A retrospective chart review was performed following the OSA guideline intervention. Findings: Both pre- (N = 413) and postintervention (N = 420) groups had statistically similar demographics. CPAP use increased from 16 to 22 (t = 0.890; P = .336). The number of patients experiencing dyspnea decreased from 10 to 8 (t = 0.263; P = .608). The number of patients experiencing acute respiratory events (AREs) decreased from 24 to 18 (t = 1.012; P = .314). Conclusion: There were no significant statistical findings. However, increased recognition of OSA patients by PACU staff can lead to improved care alterations.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Broadhead P; Cook J; Johnson T; Nahass B; Miltner R; McMullan S
  • Start Page

  • 40
  • End Page

  • 43
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 1