If you are a commercial truck driver or a truck company, you may be overlooking an important elements of safety — getting adequate rest. Do you know if you are compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations concerning sleep apnea?
The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apena (OSA). This is a serious sleep breathing disorder that can affect your health and negatively impact your safety, productivity, and insurance premiums. OSA occurs while you are asleep, causing a decrease or absence of airflow and disruption in a person’s sleep cycle.
A study sponsored by the FMCSA and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Association on sleep apnea found that 28.1% of those studied, holding a commercial drivers license, had some form of sleep apnea. This can have significant consequences.
Currently the US Department of Transportation requires a fitness for duty certificate for all drivers to drive a commercial motor vehicle. All drivers should consider being screened for sleep disorders including OSA as these disorders can interfere with the ability to control and drive a motor vehicle safely. The Lung Disease Center of Central PA’s Team in the Sleep Disorder Network is prepared to help you comply with these regulations and diagnose OSA. We have devoted resources and time to develop a program specific to the trucking industry to address OSA.
As statistics show, OSA should not be taken lightly. The risks taken by individuals with untreated OSA are not necessary when you consider all the options for treatment available through the Sleep Disorder Network.
Sleep Apnea Statistics
CDL Holders Statistics
CDL Holders Treated for Sleep Apnea
Benefits of Treatment
During the study, the technician observes sleep activity by looking at the video monitor and the computer screen that displays all the data second by second. In most labs the test is completed and the patient is discharged home by 7 a.m. unless a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) is to be done during the day to test for excessive daytime sleepiness.
Our physicians can perform the initial screening for OSA by using several measures such as a sleep questionnaire, body mass index, neck size.
If they are diagnosed with OSA, patients can be expected to be treated with positive airway pressure therapy, or PAP, and be fitted with equipment by a Registered Sleep Technologists.
Have you seen the Epworth Sleepiness Scale? Click here to be taken to the test.