Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sleep Study Innovations: Truck Stops Catering to Sleepy Drivers

The Wall Street Journal’s Private Equity Beat Blog covered an interesting new option for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Some of Pilot Travel Centers’ 300 locations will now offer sleep studies to truckers who want to get tested for OSA.

Many truck drivers’ schedules make it inconvenient to go for an overnight sleep study off route. But testing for sleep apnea may be as simple as finding a truck stop and pulling in for the night.

Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab and Pilot aim to bring services to drivers instead of making them take time off the clock to visit a sleep center.

According to a press release, they hope that employers will ask their drivers to get tested. Some trucking companies already require that their drivers get tested for OSA.

The sleep studies will be conducted after hours in the health clinics that currently exist at Pilot Travel Centers. More centers are slated for construction.

It is important to treat sleep apnea as soon as possible. A 2000 study in the journal SLEEP found that moderate to severe OSA increases a driver’s risk of having a motor vehicle accident up to fifteen-fold.

An estimated 28 percent of truckers have OSA, creating a major road safety issue.

Left untreated, OSA also raises a person’ risk for hypertension, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Sleep apnea can be safely and effectively treated. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends CPAP and oral appliance therapy.

OSA should be diagnosed at a sleep center. There are more than 1,860 AASM accredited sleep centers. Find one near you.

Image by Lance

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.