Friday, July 30, 2010

Federal Disaster Response Plan Now Includes Dentists

A series of bills recently passed in congress give dentists a bigger role in providing disaster relief. HR 903, introduced by Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak is among the legislation involving dental sleep specialists:

“Dental Emergency Responder Act of 2009 - Amends the Public Health Service Act to: (1) revise the National Health Security Strategy to include increasing the preparedness, response capabilities, and surge capacity of dental facilities and effective utilization of any available mobile dental assets; and (2) provide that federal dental entities shall carry out activities under the public health and medical response training program.”

One major public health need in the event of an emergency is treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding or earthquakes cause people to lose their important belongings. People with sleep apnea may desperately need replacement therapeutic equipment. Enter dental sleep specialists, who with emergency funding can help fit these patients with oral appliances for OSA.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is a case where dentists could have helped. With the help of generous donors The American Sleep Foundation was able to provide more than 1,300 pieces of equipment for Katrina victims with OSA. By mobilizing dentists specializing in dental sleep medicine we may be able to meet the needs of the many patients who can’t adhere to CPAP.

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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.