Thursday, November 11, 2010

State Rep. Robert Donatucci’s Death Related to Sleep Apnea

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Pennsylvania's State Representative Robert Donatucci’s early death was caused by untreated sleep apnea.

State Rep. Robert C. Donatucci, 58, received 84 percent of the vote last week in being elected to his 16th House term. He died asleep in his bed in South Philadelphia early Tuesday, his family said.

His death was related to sleep apnea, for which he was being treated, said his brother Ronald, the city register of wills.

He found the mask uncomfortable and did not complete the test, but had resolved to lose a few pounds, his brother said. He had no history of heart problems.

Fire rescue personnel were called to the house when his wife, Marie, discovered he was not breathing.

"Bobby's style was very simple," his brother said. "His word was his reputation. If he was for something, you could go to sleep on it."

Like Representative Roberts, 25 to 50 percent of OSA patients do not use their CPAP machine. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and should not go untreated. Oral appliances are a safe and effective alternative.

Oral appliance therapy is recommended for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea who cannot tolerate or comply with CPAP, or for severe patients who cannot tolerate CPAP.

More than 2,100 dentists belong to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. They are trained to screen for and treat sleep apnea. Find-a-Dentist in your area.

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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.