BOSTN Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Can a simple screening tool improve outcomes?


One in four patients undergoing surgery suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder resulting in intermittent breathing pauses throughout the night. Affected patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular and respiratory problems after surgery, are admitted to intensive care units more often and stay in hospital longer.

Obstructive Sleep ApneaIn 2006, the Joint Commission recommended that hospitals implement strategies to identify patients at increased risk of OSA in order to prevent postoperative complications. At BIDMC, a team of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists developed management guidelines for these patients under the leadership of Eswar Sundar, MD (Director of Clinical Operations, Department of Anesthesia, Critical care and Pain Medicine). The result was a perioperative care bundle, of which the BOSTN screening score was an integral part.

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