29 Apr Elevated Body Position Improves Respiratory Safety In Postpartum Women
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Eikermann: Obstructive sleep apnea occurs in about 5% of pregnant women, worsens as pregnancy progresses and is likely to persist into the early postpartum period. A main cause of anesthesia-related maternal death is postpartum airway obstruction. We observed among early postpartum women, that 45° upper body elevation increased upper airway diameter and mitigated sleep apnea, without adverse effects on quality of sleep after delivery.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Eikermann: In mothers early after delivery, elevated body position improves respiratory safety – it decreases the vulnerability to airway collapse during sleep.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Eikermann: We need to identify high risk patients – those mothers who should know we strongly recommend they sleep with the upper body elevated – for instance, in our study a first analysis suggests that patients who received opioids for post-delivery pain treatment are apparently at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea – interestingly, elevated upper body position ameliorated this risk of opioid-associated sleep apnea in our study.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Matthias Eikermann, MD, PhD (2015). Elevated Body Position Improves Respiratory Safety In Postpartum Women