Federal Sleep Apnea Regulation Killed

Topic 20434 | Page 1

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Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Despite the headline, this would have also affected truck drivers.

Experts: Lives at risk if no sleep tests for train engineers

U.S. officials are abandoning plans to require sleep apnea screening for truck drivers and train engineers, a decision that safety experts say puts millions of lives at risk.

The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said late last week that they are no longer pursuing the regulation that would require testing for the fatigue-inducing disorder that has been blamed for deadly rail crashes in New York City and New Jersey and several highway crashes.

The agencies argue that it should be up to railroads and trucking companies to decide whether to test employees. One railroad that does test, Metro-North in the New York City suburbs, found that 11.6 percent of its engineers have sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Although the legislation hasn't been pushed through requiring the testing, I believe the amount of testing being done currently is going to continue to increase as less expensive and less intrusive testing methods are developed.

The article said:

Metro-North in the New York City suburbs, found that 11.6 percent of its engineers have sleep apnea

That's a significant percentage. Not only that, but the people who are most prone to having sleep apnea is males over 50 years old. I know, most of us just gasped, knowing that the average age of truckers nationwide is in the high 40's, and somewhere around 94% of truckers are men.

Not only that, but being overweight does increase your likelihood for having sleep apnea, and truckers have more obesity than probably any profession in the U.S. today.

So the math says that right now there are probably several hundred thousand truck drivers on the highway today with undiagnosed sleep apnea.

Add to all of this the fact that truckers can legally work 70 hours every 8 days, which is again more than almost anyone works in any other profession, and you pretty much have some really bad statistics working against us.

Now that this issue is getting so much attention I believe you're going to begin seeing people tested for sleep apnea after accidents more often. And a few bad accidents leading to big lawsuits is probably going to tip the scales to the point that not testing for it is going to become more expensive than testing for it.

This is going to become a more prominent issue over time as people learn more about it. Quite honestly I don't believe I had ever even heard of sleep apnea until a few years ago. I had no idea it existed. Now I understand it better, but I still have quite a bit to learn about it, which I'm doing as I speak with companies who provide testing and treatments.

I'm going to release an article on this today and I'll post the link to it here when it's up.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Sleep apnea is basically you stop breathing while you sleep. Sometimes it is prolonged enough that you basically 'die'. Then your body kick starts itself again. This process can happen several times a night. When I was tested after getting out of the military I was only having 4-6 events a night and they were only lasting 30-45 seconds. It was not severe enough to warrant a machine or a disability review for a rating. Now take that context and think about people who DO require a machine. That means that they stop breathing more than I did and/or it lasts for longer periods of time. Scary to think that the worst cases involve a person 'dying' several times a night.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thing is, a lot of people are apnic to some degree, to the extent that breathing becomes even minorly interrupted or paused. My wife learned this during her career in the medical field while monitoring patients on intensive care floors. When most people refer to sleep apnea , it's common apnea exaggerated to an unhealthy degree. The issue is that people who aren't apnic to the degree that might require a CPAP are still at risk to fail these sleep studies because a lot of healthy people are apnic when asked to sleep on their backs. You don't have to be overweight to demonstrate some form of apnea while sleeping on your back.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
people who aren't apnic to the degree that might require a CPAP are still at risk to fail these sleep studies because a lot of healthy people are apnic when asked to sleep on their backs

You know, I was just thinking about that myself. I don't think anyone snores when they're laying on their side or stomach, do they? It seems it's most prevalent when you're on your back. So instead of a CPAP machine we'll have to outfit people with a round cone on their back so they keep rolling over onto their side.

smile.gif

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I just published that new article and you can find it here:

Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Last Shadow's Comment
member avatar

That is so funny it makes sense.

double-quotes-start.png

people who aren't apnic to the degree that might require a CPAP are still at risk to fail these sleep studies because a lot of healthy people are apnic when asked to sleep on their backs

double-quotes-end.png

You know, I was just thinking about that myself. I don't think anyone snores when they're laying on their side or stomach, do they? It seems it's most prevalent when you're on your back. So instead of a CPAP machine we'll have to outfit people with a round cone on their back so they keep rolling over onto their side.

smile.gif

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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