Obstructive sleep apnea is fairly common in children, teens, and adults with Down syndrome. By adulthood, one out of every two persons with Down syndrome has sleep apnea. It is not always associated with obesity in this population, and may be related to low tone in the airways and structural abnormalities.
Its important for
nurses to report any symptoms of sleep apnea, including:
In some cases, surgery is indicated to avoid hypoxia and cor pulmonale. Other teens may benefit from supplemental oxygen under pressure, such as a CPAP machine provides. Nurses working with these individuals can play a key role in promoting and reinforcing correct and regular use of these devices.
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