A number of unexpected deaths in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were reported in the late 20th and the early 21st century. In 1997, Ostermeier et al. shared three cases of postoperative respiratory arrests and deaths in patients with OSA receiving opioids following surgery.1 In a 2002 Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation newsletter, Lofsky summarized eight cases of unexplained postoperative cardiopulmonary arrest in patients with OSA receiving narcotics.2 Subsequently, in 2005, Bolden et al. published a case series of cardiopulmonary arrests in OSA patients receiving narcotics following surgery.3 While there have been numerous recent studies documenting adverse outcomes in OSA patients following surgery, there have been very few reports of postoperative deaths in this cohort of patients in recent years.

Since unexpected deaths occurring in OSA patients following surgery were previously documented and dominated the headlines...

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