Sleep Apnea Question

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Lemmy_Lives's Comment
member avatar

I'm working on getting into the trucking industry. One thing that worries me is the DOT and company physicals. Over 10 years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was issued a CPAP machine (this was all through the VA). The machine I have is pretty old...I've heard that if you have a CPAP they will want data off of it to make sure you've been using it. My machine doesn't have this capability. What should I do? Bring the machine with me? I've also debated not saying anything. I've lost over 60 pounds in the last year and I don't know if sleep apnea is even an issue anymore. I'd prefer to be honest about the issue but I don't want it to block me from starting my career.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Terminal Rat ( aka...J's Comment
member avatar

I'm actually in the same situation. I think most trucking company's are OK with the cpap issue. I'm going to call my insurance provider on Monday to see if I can get a new sleep study to determine if I even need mine anymore. I actually like using it most of the time because of the humidified air supply. Check out cpap.com the prices are much better than what I can even get through my insurance but I think you need a prescription to order from them.

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

Your machine will certainly need the ability to transmit data for remote monitoring. And I'm not sure but I would expect nowadays that a lot of companies will be asking if you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea in the past or any other conditions that might have an effect on your ability to drive for a living. You really need to be honest because trucking companies have incredibly thorough background checks they do and you can be certain they'll figure it out if at all possible.

There are plenty of drivers out there using CPAP machines. As long as you follow the correct procedures you shouldn't have any problems. The companies you go to work for will tell you whether or not they'll require any sort of sleep apnea testing. Some do, some don't. Unfortunately we do not have any sort of list specifying that though.

Here's a bunch of information we have on sleep apnea as it relates to the trucking industry:

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

Asian Princess's Comment
member avatar

I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea and once I started my application blitz every single company wanted a copy of my sleep study and last 30 days compliance data from my cpap. Some wanted 90 days.

I suggest you see your primary care physician and have another sleep study done ASAP. I'll tell you right now, even with terrific insurance it's a pricey test!! However with your recent weigh loss you might be able to get away with a pulse oximetry test which is done at home, and considerabley less expensive. If you no longer have it then problem solved. If you end up doing the full study you will be issued a new machine with the data card and thus be able to prove compliance.

Just remember to factor in 2-3 months for the study to be scheduled and THEN another 2-3 months of compliance history into your job searching.

Good luck!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar
I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea and once I started my application blitz every single company wanted a copy of my sleep study and last 30 days compliance data from my cpap.

Asia Princess is right. If your are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea then companies will expect you to show 30 days of compliance with your CPAP. Keep that in mind. I would suggest getting things straightened out before going to a company and getting sent home over this issue.

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.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Some guys in my Prime class used to have apnea and Prime made then re test. They no longer had it. They made me get the test. I don't have it. The test is 600 and the machine 500. With Prime they pay upfront and then take it from your pay. U less u know the price you pay will be less... I'd wait until you are ready to go. What if you test now and you are cleared but you don't go to a company for 8 months... they make you retest for more recent or accurate results.... hence more money in their pocket?

Lemmy_Lives's Comment
member avatar

I'm actually hoping to start school in a couple of weeks. Does anyone know what Swift's policies are concerning this issue?

The main problem I'm having is...I'm broke with no insurance other than the VA. The closest VA hospital that can do a test is in OKC, over an hour away. Right now my plan is to go there sometime this week and just talk to them. I don't even know if I have a primary doctor. I haven't needed to go to the doctor in years. I have been faithfully using my machine all this time. I just wish there was a way to prove it.

I've had more than one person tell me to deny, deny deny when I go in for my physical. Lying like this goes against my nature. However, like I said I have been using the machine every night and will continue to do so.

Lost here. I'm quickly running out of options. I can't wait 2-3 months to get money flowing in again, especially when I'm already doing what I need to do.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

If you have been previously diagnosed with OSA, then you aren't going to want to lie about it.

Even with some weight loss - if you fall under the guidelines that most companies use for OSA (BMI and/or neck greater than 17"), they are going to require another sleep study, and if found to still have OSA - a CPAP with monitoring for at least 30 days (most companies) or more.

So I wouldn't risk lying and trying to fly "under the radar" with this, unless you have lost so much weight and are so far under the guidelines, that the risk of being flagged for a test is negligible. And if you've recently taken a DOT physical and been failed - it will be a matter of record with DOT.

Some see the way trucking companies use sleep studies as a "scam" - but OSA IS a real issue in the industry, as far as driver fatigue related accidents go.

I understand that you can't afford to go get a sleep study and an industry compliant CPAP machine at the moment - but the fact is, there may be some delay in your ability to start driving.

Now - companies like Prime, will pay for the sleep study and CPAP and let you "work it off" - but I'm not sure if this applies to folks that have been previously diagnosed.

Best bet is to figure out a way to get the sleep study done - if negative - bring the report with you. If you still suffer from it - you're going to want to get into compliance with a CPAP that logs this.

I know this really isn't what you wanted to hear - but these are the facts.

Rick

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

Bucket's Comment
member avatar

You have a machine & using it, its just old and don't have dada, I would go with that. If the company wants date let them give you a machine that provides data.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Michael the only way for you to make it work is go to orientation and let the company help you get a machine that is acceptable to meet the regulations. One of those regulations is that they have to have thirty days data on your usage - Sooo... they will send you back home for thirty days. There is no getting around that problem - that is the way it is done. I understand how tough that will be, but you have got to figure out a way to make that scenario work for you, even if it means staying at a homeless shelter for thirty days - we've actually had a few people in here do that in the past - that is how badly they wanted to get this done. You can figure out a way to do it - what ever you do it will be worth it in the end to get yourself started on a good career path.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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