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Referral criteria for children with obstructive sleep apnoea

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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referral of children with obstructive sleep apnoea

Referrals are usually indicated in the following patients:

  • children with symptoms of persistent snoring plus any of the daytime or night time features of obstructive sleep apnoea together with clinical evidence of adenotonsillar hypertrophy
  • children with features of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and an underlying condition (e.g. - congenital or syndromal problems
  • obese children with OSA (1)

The following children with suspected OSA must be referred paediatric respiratory assessment before further management:

  • unclear or inconsistent diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea
  • age <2 years
  • weight <15 kg
  • Down's syndrome
  • cerebral palsy
  • hypotonia or neuromuscular disorders
  • craniofacial anomalies
  • mucopolysaccharidoses
  • obesity (body mass index >95th centile for age and sex)
  • important comorbidity such as congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease
  • residual symptoms after adenotonsillectomy (1)


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