Acute Respiratory Failure Patients Are Prone To Sleep Apnea

By on May 20, 2014

According to a new study, acute respiratory failure survivors are prone to have sleep apnea. This study was conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Parsons, MD, MSc, of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Dr. Parsons said that survivors of critical illness frequently complaint about not getting sleep, i.e. insomnia. She said that in this study they examined a small of group of acute respiratory failure survivors for understanding insomnia, and even sleep apnea caused due to their disorder.

Acute Respiratory Failure - Sleep Apnea

For this study, 21 acute respiratory failure patients were picked. Here acute in sense means the patient requires mechanical ventilation for at least 48 hours.

Researchers took the Insomnia Severity Index and In-home Level II Overnight Polysomnography of the patient after three months from hospital discharge.

Even the Respiratory Distress Index (RDI) and Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) were taken to assess the sleep disordered breathing in the patient.

Respiratory Distress Index (RDI) is used to measure the average number of disturbances in respiration take place in the patient per hour.

These disturbances included apnea, which is the pausing of breathing during sleep, hypopneas, which is the partial obstructions caused in breathing during sleep, and respiratory effort related arousals.

And the Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) as the name suggests is used to measure the average number of apneas and hypopneas taking place per hour while the patient is sleeping.

Normally, RDI greater than or equal to 15 is considered to showing effect on person’s quality of sleep and his/her daytime functioning. And AHI greater than or equal to 15 is considered to increase of risk of heart diseases.

Of these patients, most of the patients had sleep apnea. 13 of them were having RDI as greater than equal to 15, and 10 of them were having AHI greater than equal to 15. Whereas the mean AHI was 29 and the mean RDI was 38. And the Oxygen de-saturation, i.e. dropping of oxygen levels per hour in sleep was an average of 3%, with an index of 8.

While the presence of insomnia was not in correspondence to the presence of sleep disordered breathing problems.

Dr. Parsons said that acute respiratory failure survivors most commonly have sleep apnea. And in some patients, sleep apnea is seen even after not complaining about lack of sleep. So, for the survivors of acute respiratory failures, it is important to assess the severity of sleep apnea and go for required treatment.