Public health and medicolegal implications of sleep apnoea

European Respiratory Society - ERS
European Respiratory Society (ERS)
Publication date:
01 January 2002


Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is a condition characterised by repetitive obstruction of the upper airway, often resulting in oxygen desaturation and arousals from sleep. The principal daytime manifestation is excessive sleepiness but other symptoms such as unrefreshing sleep, poor concentration and fatigue are commonly reported. Early definitions of the syndrome were based on an apnoea frequency without reference to symptoms.