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[Outpatient anesthesia for patients with obstructive sleep apnea: results of a national survey].

Der Anaesthesist 2012 January
BACKGROUND: In Germany there is currently no national standard for the management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The object of this survey was to obtain information on the treatment concept for patients with OSAS and to report on the current practice in Germany.

METHODS: Data collection was obtained through an online questionnaire. A total of 12,113 members of the supporting anesthesia societies from all over Germany were invited to participate via e-mail. Additionally an announcement was made in a professional journal.

RESULTS: A total of 1,671 questionnaires were analyzed. The average age of the respondents was 45 years, 64% were male and 36% were female. The average work experience was 16 years and 85% of the respondents were consultants. In total 85% of anesthesiologists were predominantly working in inpatient care and 12% were predominantly active in outpatient care. Of the respondents 63% preferred regional anesthesia, 20% preferred general anesthesia for patients with OSAS and 17% did not have a preference for a specific anesthesia procedure. Outpatient surgery for patients with OSAS was performed by 72% of the respondents using regional anesthesia and by 55% of the respondents using local anesthesia with sedation. Of the anesthesiologists 49% consented to outpatient surgery using general anesthesia and 14% to interventions involving the airways. Compared to anesthesiologists working predominantly in inpatient departments, those working predominantly in outpatient departments treated patients with OSAS more frequently on an outpatient basis, used general anesthesia significantly more often, discharged those patients significantly earlier and observed less complications.

CONCLUSIONS: This survey shows that outpatient surgery for patients with sleep apnea is common practice in Germany. It is also performed when patients have moderate or severe OSAS and for respiratory tract surgery. This means that the management is not conform to the guidelines of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

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