Friday, September 15, 2006

Task Force Calls for Expand Sleep Apnea Screenings for Commercial Drivers

New sleep recommendations based upon new research ...

"A joint task force recently unveiled new recommendations for the screening and management of obstructive sleep apnea among commercial motor vehicle operators.

The recommendations, proffered by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and the National Sleep Foundation, include a more thorough screening and evaluation process; modified criteria for returning to work after treatment; and providing follow-up and recertification recommendations.

The recommendations are being published as a supplement to the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

While sleepiness and inattention – which are common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – are believed to contribute to many commercial vehicle crashes each year, current screening and treatment procedures for commercial drivers "are ambiguous and not reflective of the latest advancements in the diagnosis and management of OSA," according to Nancy Collop, M.D., FCCP, of ACCP's Sleep Institute.

"Conflicting approaches to screening and management of OSA have left drivers undiagnosed, which puts the driver and general public at risk," Collop said. "We hope our joint recommendations will assist the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and states to update screening and treatment guidelines for sleep apnea which, in turn, may help identify and treat more [commercial motor vehicle] drivers who suffer from this serious condition."   (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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