Orthopaedic patients with obstructive sleep apnea are at risk for postoperative complications related to administration of pain medications, anxiolytics, and antiemetics. They are more likely to experience respiratory and cardiac complications, be transferred to an intensive care unit, or have an increased length of stay in the hospital. This informational article is for nurses who care for postoperative orthopaedic patients with obstructive sleep apnea. The focus is on promoting patient safety through communication, vigilant postoperative sedation assessment, and nursing interventions that include appropriate patient positioning, patient education, and involving patients and their families in care.
Amy J. Veney, MSN, RN, CPAN, CNE, Lecturer, College of Nursing, Kent State University, Kent, OH.
The author has disclosed that she has no financial interests to any commercial company related to this educational activity.