Sleep apnea syndrome

HanoiThree weeks after recovering from Covid-19, the 41-year-old man often had episodes of hypoxia while sleeping, the doctor diagnosed him with severe sleep apnea.

Doctors at Bach Mai Hospital on April 15 informed that his whole family had Covid-19 so they bought a SpO2 blood oxygen meter to monitor at home. After recovering, his family discovered that when he slept, he often had episodes of very low blood oxygen, sometimes less than 70%.

Fearing cardiopulmonary sequelae due to Covid, he went to the Respiratory Center, Bach Mai Hospital for examination. The doctors took the patient’s history, the patient had symptoms such as snoring, headache, daytime sleepiness, and distraction from work for a long time, but the disease was not detected and diagnosed.

The results of polysomnography showed that the patient had severe sleep apnea syndrome with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) >70, the longest apnea lasted 70 seconds and the lowest SpO2 was near 50. %. The patient was treated with CPAP mechanical ventilation, initially responded well, less sleepy, awake the next day.

According to doctors, the patient’s sleep apnea was not caused by a sequelae of Covid-19 but had been present for a long time but was not detected until Covid-19 measured SpO2.

Sleep apnea (OSA) is a disease of little-known and concern in the community, which can have very serious complications, even death. According to world studies, the prevalence in North America is 15-30% in men and 10-15% in women. Globally, there are an estimated 936 million people with OSA between the ages of 30 and 69. The main associated factors were age, gender, obesity, and airway abnormalities.

The main symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness. Other symptoms may include restless sleep, waking up with suffocation or gasping, morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat, frequent urination at night, and difficulty concentrating and remembering. Some people have no symptoms or don’t know it’s a sign of sleep apnea. Their symptoms are usually fatigue or heavy snoring.

Sleep apnea, if not detected and treated promptly, can cause systemic hypoxia, affecting organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, brain… thereby causing metabolic disorders , increased blood pressure, increased risk of cerebral infarction, myocardial infarction and sudden death. Currently, the way to diagnose sleep apnea is to measure respiratory polygraph and polysomnography.

If there are clinical symptoms of sleep apnea such as snoring, daytime sleepiness, headache after waking up, you should go to a medical facility for an early diagnosis.

Thuy Quynh


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