Perioperative Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in Adults

Patients who undergo surgery with undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) are at a substantially increased risk of complications during and after surgery1. Furthermore, a large proportion of patients with OSA are currently living without a diagnosis and appropriate treatment2.

It is therefore vital that patients are routinely screened for OSA when considering surgery so that they can access support and treatment to reduce their risk of complications.

The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) are exploring for new ways to present information in a relevant, accessible and intuitive way. Numerous guidelines already exist on the management of adult patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Rather than developing a new lengthy guideline on the perioperative management of OSA, the existing information has been brought together and presented in the form of a succinct one-page guide. This guide is intended for use by frontline perioperative care workers ‘on-the-go’ to guide decisions on screening, referral and management of adults in the perioperative period.   

  1. Zaid M. Abdelsattar, MD, MSc and others, The Impact of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Cardiopulmonary Complications in General and Vascular Surgery: A Cohort Study, Sleep, Volume 38, Issue 8, August 2015, Pages 1205–1210.
  2. M. Singh and others, Proportion of surgical patients with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoeaBJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia, Volume 110, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 629–636.


Collaborators and Reviewers

Dr Gregory Warren – CPOC fellow. Project Lead

Professor Gerard Danjoux – Consultant in Anaesthesia and Sleep Medicine. Association of Anaesthetists subject matter expert.

Mr Iain Wheatley - Nurse Consultant Acute and Respiratory Care. Co-chair of OSA Alliance

Dr Henry Murdoch - Consultant Anaesthetist. President of the Preoperative Association

Dr Kim Russon – Consultant Anaesthetist. Past President British Association of Day surgery

Miss Jo Marsden – Consultant Breast Surgeon. Immediate Past President British Association of Day Surgery

Dr Philip Marino - Consultant in Pulmonary Hypertension & Respiratory Failure

Dr Eleanor Warwick – Society of Bariatric Anaesthesia Trainee Representative.

CPOC Executive team and board partner organisations.