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Compare, contrast guidelines for management of obstructive sleep apnea :

October 18, 2018

Editor's note:The 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition will take place from Nov. 2-6 in Orlando.

Juan C. Martinez, M.D., FAAP, and Scott E. Brietzke, M.D., M.P.H., will present “Pediatric Sleep Apnea: Evaluation and Management (S4086)” from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in room W311EF of the convention center.

Dr. Martinez is medical director, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Cystic Fibrosis, and director of the Pediatric Sleep Laboratory at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Hollywood, Fla. Dr. Brietzke is an otolaryngologist and sleep medicine specialist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

In the following Q&A, Dr. Martinez and Dr. Brietzke discuss session highlights and why pediatricians should attend.

Q: What are the key things you will be covering?

Dr. Brietzke: The purpose of this session is to compare and contrast recent clinical practice guidelines for the management of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that come from different sources. These include the AAP, the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and other sources. It is interesting and educational to review the details of these guidelines and consider why there might be similarities or differences regarding recommendations for the same precise clinical topic.

Dr. Martinez: Our session aims to summarize these discrepancies in the hope of arriving at basic common threads that will help guide clinicians in the management of these patients.

Q: Why do you think the evaluation and management of sleep apnea is an important topic for pediatricians to learn more about? 

Dr. Brietzke: The prevalence of pediatric sleep-disordered breathing is clearly rising and permeates almost all aspects of pediatric care. The ideal management of pediatric sleep disorders truly embodies multidisciplinary care, and it is very beneficial for pediatricians to consider and better understand the clinical viewpoint of pediatrics as well as other specialties that participate in the care of patients with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

Q: How many children/adolescents suffer from sleep apnea? 

Dr. Martinez: Estimates of the prevalence of OSA vary in children, but recently specialists have estimated prevalence in the range of 5%-6%, compared to previously suspected lower rates. Precise studies are still lacking. The epidemic of childhood obesity will likely contribute to higher levels of prevalence in the coming years.

Q: What is the take-home message?

Dr. Brietzke: The optimal management of pediatric sleep-disordered breathing is in the context of multidisciplinary care. Each specialty that participates in this care has its own unique viewpoint, and for each specialty to understand the viewpoint of the other specialties leads to improved communication and more seamless care of these complex patients.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Martinez: Formal pediatric sleep training programs are adding specialists and viewpoints. The debate of evaluation and management and opinions are always welcome.

For more coverage of the 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition visit and follow @AAPNews on Twitter and Facebook.

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