In your New Patient Exam are you missing an opportunity to discover an illness that your patient is not aware of … and that you may be able to treat?
United States’ Medical professionals have noted the increase of patients with Sleep Apnea. A recent study shows that 34% of the population have symptoms of Sleep Apnea. Air pollution, lack of exercise and greater public awareness may contribute to this increase. In order to combat Sleep Apnea the conditions must be monitored and reported to trained, qualified doctors for evaluation.
Pulse oximetry, along with a clinical score (Epworth Sleepiness Score, for example), is an effective screening tool for Sleep Apnea and other sleep disordered breathing. This approach, though not as accurate or comprehensive as polysomnography, is an effective screening tool. The oximeter provides the necessary information relating to how well air is getting into the lungs,
and consequently oxygen into the blood stream.
How pulse oximetry works in evidencing sleep apnea is very simple. When a person has sleep apnea, s/he experiences moments when s/he does not breathe (apnea events). When this happens the oxygen that circulates in the blood drops to an abnormally low level. A pulse oximeter will detect the drop in the oxygen saturation of the blood.