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Today's Practice of Medicine
May 1982

Diagnosis of Sleep Breathing Disorders in a General Hospital: Experience and Recommendations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Dr Mezon is now at University Hospital, London, Ontario.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(5):956-958. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340180114021

In the 24 months after a sleep breathing laboratory opened in a general hospital, 48 patients thought to have a primary sleep breathing disorder were referred for study. Evaluation of breathing during sleep was most useful in those having excessive daytime sleepiness or unexplained polycythemia. The sleep apnea syndrome was documented in 19 of 24 patients with excessive daytime sleepiness. Of 15 patients with unexplained polycythemia, ten were found to have severe hypoxemia during sleep. This experience suggests that facilities for evaluation of sleep breathing disorders should be available in larger medical centers.