OSA Diagnosis and treatment for your patient
Savannah Medical would like to assist you in diagnosing and managing your patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders through provision of needed test equipment.
OSA is a medical problem linked to severe snoring and an obstruction on inspiration in the pharynx during sleep and cessation of breathing. When the obstruction occurs, there is an awakening from sleep associated with a sudden increase in blood pressure and pulse rate leading to the major consequences of OSA viz excessive sleepiness during the day and an increased risk of cardiovascular events, high blood pressure and strokes.
There are clear symptoms of sleep apnea, which are best summarised in this STOP BANG and ESS questionnaire.
If a female patient scores 4 or over, or a male scores 5 or over, they may be at risk of suffering from sleep apnea. The only way to accurately diagnose the severity of the sleep apnea is with an overnight test.
Different types of tests
- The traditional full overnight polysomnography. The test includes EEG recordings, respiratory channels for OSA and leg electrodes to record leg movements for a diagnosis of Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). This test, due to the increased number of channels, is the most expensive type of overnight sleep test.
- An overnight apnea screening test. This test is cheaper, easier to administer and mostly done at home as fewer channels are recorded. The WatchPAT device that is used records cardiovascular parameters from which apneas and other respiratory events are derived. The accuracy of the WatchPAT for apnea index calculation has been validated in peer reviewed studies and recognised by the FDA. Basic sleep stage data, which have been shown to be as accurate as overnight polysomnography, are also derived. Thus, a fairly complete analysis of overnight apnea, snoring, body position, oxygen saturation and sleep stages will be obtained.
Which test best suits your patient?
If you are simply wanting to know the severity the level of apnea, and your patient tends to sleep well, then an apnea screening test would be most suitable – both for cost and practicality.
If you are concerned about PLMD, narcolepsy or other organic sleep disorders, or if your patient has already had a negative apnea screen, despite significant daytime sleepiness, then a full overnight polysomnogram would be best, to give the most accurate diagnosis.
If your patients have been diagnosed with significant OSA, but still have daytime sleepiness after adequate treatment with nasal CPAP – they should also get assessed for a possible additional sleep disorder.
How does the test work?
The practice of Dr. Alison Bentley is responsible for the sleep testing and reporting for AIRO Integrated Health Care.
If you would like to send a patient for testing, please download the STOP BANG and ESS questionnaire.
Simply fill in the form and contact us or your preferred sleep specialist. We will forward to a sleep specialist to support you. The sleep specialist will arrange medical aid authorisation, contact the patient and arrange to get the test done.
Typically results will be sent through to you within 48 hours of the sleep test being completed. In the case of in-hospital patients, a message will be sent to you as soon as the study is downloaded with the basic AHI and ODI data, so that CPAP titration and treatment can be done the next night if required.
While CPAP treatment may be recommended for patients with moderate to severe OSA (AHI of 20 upwards) the treatment for your patient remains your decision.