The purpose of the Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine guideline on preoperative screening and assessment of adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is to present recommendations based on the available clinical evidence on the topic where possible. As very few well-performed randomized studies in this field of perioperative care are available, most of the recommendations were developed by experts in the field through consensus processes involving utilization of evidence grading to indicate the level of evidence upon which recommendations were based. This guideline may not be appropriate for all clinical situations and all patients. The decision whether to follow these recommendations must be made by a responsible physician on an individual basis. Protocols should be developed by individual institutions taking into account the patients’ conditions, extent of interventions and available resources.
This practice guideline is not intended to define standards of care or represent absolute requirements for patient care. The adherence to these guidelines cannot in any way guarantee successful outcomes and is rather meant to help individuals and institutions formulate plans to better deal with the challenges posed by perioperative patients with OSA. These recommendations reflect the current state of knowledge and its interpretation by a group of experts in the field at the time of publication. While these guidelines will be periodically updated, new information that becomes available between updates should be taken into account. Deviations in practice from guidelines may be justifiable and such deviations should not be interpreted as a basis for claims of negligence.
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