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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: PLoS ONE.

Volume 11, Issue 5, 1 May 2016, Article number e0153790.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153790

Copyright © 2016 Sharma et al

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


BACKGROUND: Rapid response system (RRS) is a safety tool designed for early detection and intervention of a deteriorating patient on the general floor in the hospital. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been associated with significant cardiovascular complications. We hypothesized that patients with high-risk of OSA have higher rate of RRS events and intervention with positive airway pressure therapy in these patients can mitigate the RRS events.

METHODS: As part of a clinical pathway, during a 15 month period, patients with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 in select medical services were screened with a validated sleep questionnaire. Patients were characterized as high or low risk based on the screening questionnaire. RRS rates were compared between the groups. Subsequently the impact of PAP therapy on RRS events was evaluated.

RESULTS: Out of the 2,590 patients screened, 1,973 (76%) were identified as high-risk. RRS rates calculated per 1,000 admissions, were 43.60 in the High-Risk OSA group versus 25.91 in the Low-Risk OSA Group. The PAP therapy compliant group had significantly reduced RRS event rates compared to non-compliant group and group with no PAP therapy (16.99 vs. 53.40 vs. 56.21) (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: In a large cohort of patients at a tertiary care hospital, we show an association of increased rate of RRS events in high-risk OSA patients and reduction of the risk with PAP intervention in the compliant group.

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