How does the process to detect sleep apnea begin in primary care?

26 June 2024

Elena Comas, sleep nurse at Primary Care Centre Alfons Moré de Salt (Girona), explains it to us.

Let’s go to the Alfons Moré Primary Care Centre in Salt, in the province of Girona, to learn first-hand how the process to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea begins. Elena Comas, one of the nurses trained as a sleep nurse through the INNOBICS-SAHS project, explains the process in this video.

As Comas mentions, the INNOBICS-SAHS project starts in the primary care medical and nursing practice, passing a short test to patients between 30 and 70 years of age who visit the primary care center. More than 3,000 patients have been seen in Girona and Lisbon since the start of the project, and in 80% of the cases it has been possible to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment from primary care with the support of the Virtual Son Unit, made up of hospital professionals.

An underdiagnosed disorder

It is estimated that one in four people between the ages of 30 and 70 suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, but most are undiagnosed. Patients who do not receive treatment may suffer from drowsiness, concentration problems and a deterioration in their quality of life. They also have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, and are twice or three times more likely to have traffic accidents due to drowsy driving, among others.

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