Domiciliary Sleep Study Testing During COVID-19 Pandemic

Title: Domiciliary Sleep Study Testing During COVID-19 Pandemic
Author(s): M Walsh, M Talty, D Nash, S Walsh, F Gargoum
Institution: Respiratory Department, Galway University Hospitals
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: Sleep
Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, our centre began using WatchPAT devices, measuring peripheral arterial tone as a surrogate marker for sleep disordered breathing (SDB), to perform limited sleep studies. A retrospective review of studies undertaken until 01/12/2020 was performed to evaluate results.

50 patients were reviewed. Mean age was 53 years and 38 were male. Average time since referral was 13 months, mean wait time for home sleep apnoea testing (HSAT) approximately 1 month. 44/47 recorded had a STOP-BANG ≥3. Mean Epworth Sleepiness Score 9. Mean number of co-morbidities 2.5. Mean BMI 34 kg/m2. Four patients had an uninterpretable or failed study. 38 studies were diagnostic for OSA requiring inpatient follow-up, 13 of which were severe, requiring Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

The implications of this are that this domiciliary service has shown to be adequate at diagnosing sleep apnoea in those with a high-pre-test probability, with notably reduced wait times, subject to availability of devices. Given limited inpatient resources and an ongoing pandemic, WatchPAT can provide an important resource in the first steps of managing OSA.