Sleep Study 'battle'

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Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

Sharing this important information - I'm moving through this process as we "speak" and my DOT examiner is insisting that the DOT/FMCSA requires a sleep study due to my BMI - (VERY untrue), but I am being held captive nevertheless. Be sure and go to the end of the article and click on 'read the bulletin in full' link. Very interesting read and critical to everyone, particularly those who are new and just trying to get a career up and moving. Also very important to the veteran drivers who are going for re-certification of medical cards. Recent bulletin from FMCSA on sleep study

One thing that I've done to help ensure that I am not railroaded into some money making cycle associated with the organization that did my DOT physical, was to involve my primary physician and he ordered the sleep study to be done within MY health organization who DOES NOT do DOT physicals. My health insurance is covering, by the way. He was able to do this based on the Nurse Practitioner's (who did my DOT physical) findings, but had his own reservations as to whether he would have even approached the issue of sleep apnea at all.

I am very, very happy with my Doc and now have the utmost in respect for the entire organization. The other organization who did my physical; NOT SO MUCH!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

That bulletin is the biggest load of regulatory-mumbo-jumbo-BS I've read in a long time.

IS sleep apnea a genuine concern in the industry - where drivers that suffer from it may be driving while not properly rested? SURE IT IS.

Is the arbitrary standard used to determine it - just that - ARBITRARY? Yep - and Federal Regs are supposed to be clear and not "arbitrary".

IS there an actual FMCSA Reg REQUIRING "sleep apnea testing"? NO there still is no actual published reg. The had an RFC up years ago - but there is no regulation in 49 CFR 391, that mandates testing.

Which is why it is still looked upon as a "scam" in the industry. For every (so-called) "expert" that FMCSA brings up in it's medical conferences, there are 2 more that refute that testimony.

OTOH - it is in everyones BEST INTEREST, if you're overweight to the point of a 39+ BMI (the magic number it seems) - to LOSE SOME WEIGHT (myself included). My (so-called) "optimal weight" for my height (5'5") is 155-165. NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. Friends told me I looked like a crackhead at 180 (which was a damn sight better than me at 307, my highest weight).

Rick

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.
Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

Trust me Rick, I am the first to admit that I'm not at my prime wt. at 228 lbs and 5' 9" even though, up until nearly 2 years ago, I was a complete gym rat and my muscle far outweighs the average 48 year old dude as compared to the fat. I have put on some unwanted pounds, but I don't fall into the "typical category" and I am by far, not the only one. The concerns are genuine and deserve a look! While everyone cowers away from the issue, drivers are being cheated from the truth.

Here is the latest: I just received my results from the sleep study. To make it short, MY sleep doctor considers my apnea a mild case. In fact it recorded only 5.7 apneas per hour. Those who want to dig can look-up the DOT's so called recommendations to see how low that truly is in their minds. For 18 minutes, I was on my back and recorded an average of 45 apneas per hour!!! Wow!!

Now, while CPAP is the standard "go to" for even my case, there is also the recommendation for "positional therapy" - I think that describes itself (no machines, just maybe a device that keeps me from rolling onto my back).

The million dollar question: Once I report this to the DOT certified Nurse Practitioner who is awaiting the results and holding my med card; how will she react? Will she sign off? 1 month? 3 months? 1 year? Hmmm.... DOT and FMCSA doesn't tell her whether that's acceptable. How will she be able to monitor this therapy for compliance?

My guess is that she'll try and force the CPAP on me to protect herself and I'll have no other choice but to comply. Well, there is one other choice, but not going through with my plans to drive OTR is unacceptable to me.

More than one driver has compared it with being raped. I'm not sure I would categorize in that way, but it sure feels like we're governed by juveniles.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

I just want to clarify that I started this thread with the intent for it to be informational, rather than a rant. I read some of what I wrote earlier and realized it was beginning to sound like ranting. I apologize for that!

In the end, to all those affected, try not to fold under the pressure and ask questions if/when you are ordered to a sleep study. Consider referring to your primary physician if you have one, but at the very least, question the person performing the exam and making the decisions on your medical card. This is an ongoing issue with the FMCSA and others. Until it is resolved, drivers and prospective drivers will be caught in the middle. For us, it is a game changer and is having an impact on thousands individual livelihoods.

Personally, I don't take medications or therapies unless I've exhausted all other remedies. I will not be forced by any government entity to alter that standard.

Oh, and by the way Rick, the magic BMI number is actually 34 (although it may be 33 now). I have never seen a number like 39 in all my research. Similar to many other discrepancies within this mandate, however, there could be dozens of BMI standards floating between providers; I don't know.

I'll let the forum know how this turns out, just in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation.

I'm waiting to hear back from the nurse in terms of how she will interpret the results of the sleep study. In the interim, I will try to get my physician to prescribe "position therapy" and I'll simply wear a fanny pack sort of thing to keep me from rolling onto my back. That should be considered appropriate treatment. There isn't now and never will be legislation that demands CPAP treatment for every trucker diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea - ever!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

The issue with apnea, is that - if it disturbs REM sleep - then, while you may be "sleeping", you're not actually getting RESTED.

What ticks people off, is that certain companies give the appearance that they are "in cahoots" with the whole "sleep apnea industry". When the sleep study center is right across from the place that gives their DOT Med Physicals - one has to wonder if BOTH FACILITIES have the same owners. Likewise with CPAPS that you buy from the company on the "time payment plan". Somehow you just gotta wonder how many palms are "being greased" in this kind of equation. The biggest shame is that (one of) the company(ies) doing this, is also one of the best companies for a new entrant in the industry to cut their teeth with.

While there is no denying that lack of proper rest presents a serious safety hazard in the industry - the inability to keep a sleeper cab at a reasonable temperature for a great many companies that don't provide APU's and have strict idling policies, probably contributes as much (or more) to a drivers inability to get a restful nights sleep.

Sometimes it seems like pets and babies get a better shake being "provided for" in vehicles, than men & women that pilot 80K Lb death machines on our highways.

Just sayin.

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.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

You're right. There is the notion of a scam. The truth is, these organizations developed their huge sleep study programs after the the FMCSA announced the initiative back in 2000. The idea was this mandate would be a cash cow in coming years. Unfortunatly for them, the legislation never happened as promised. There are now sleep study programs all around the country that need to be paid for. Hence, the tighter standards were imposed on providers by thier respective organizations. They use the FMCSA as an excuse and manipulate the information provided in order to coerce drivers into believing that they have no options. That is wrong and will almost certainly be dubbed illegal at some point in the future. There will be litigation.

I don't have the answers, but the solution to sleepy driving will not be resolved in this way. It is rather interesting that the "panel's" baseline for determining whether sleep apnea's severity is at a level which may affect a person's major wake time is equal to or greater than 15 apnea or hypopnea per hour. The sleep doctors are closer to 5 or more before diagnosing OSA. The point is, many more drivers are being diagnosed than even the panel of experts recommend. Who knows how many?

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.
Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar

Another Standard they use is a neck measurment of 17" or larger as a reason to have the test. They told me I had a 17" neck and might need a test, I pulled out a string that was cut to fit my neck, had the put around my neck (which fit properly) and measure it,, 16 3/4",, they had to change there findings,, just saying. Research " Sleep Apnea.Org" much info,, they ask you Questions like Do you fall asleep watching a movie? if you answer yes, then your going to need a sleep test,, just saying. also the stereo type of a fat old guy is just Prejudice,,, a skinny teen age Girl can have Sleep Apnea to, so the Standards are not an exact science,, Just Saying

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.

Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

Another Standard they use is a neck measurment of 17" or larger as a reason to have the test. They told me I had a 17" neck and might need a test, I pulled out a string that was cut to fit my neck, had the put around my neck (which fit properly) and measure it,, 16 3/4",, they had to change there findings,, just saying. Research " Sleep Apnea.Org" much info,, they ask you Questions like Do you fall asleep watching a movie? if you answer yes, then your going to need a sleep test,, just saying. also the stereo type of a fat old guy is just Prejudice,,, a skinny teen age Girl can have Sleep Apnea to, so the Standards are not an exact science,, Just Saying

Exactly, and my neck size is 16 1/4. I was sent to sleep study based solely on BMI with zero other symptoms. While I appreciate knowing now, that I get higher quality rest by sleeping on my side rather than on my back, there is hardly justification for strapping myself to a $3000 machine for the rest of my professional life. In fact, my BMI was recorded at 33.8. .2 below the threshold. She simply determined that it was borderline and close enough to cause concern. With that, she is holding my medical card. I am sure they were surprised and disheartened to learn that I took my sleep study business elsewhere.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

Going to meet with the sleep study MD today.

My diagnosis of OSA was made based on 5.8 apnea per hour. That is a very mild case when compared with the DOT/FMCSA panel of expert's "primary focus", to identify drivers with an AHI (apnea per hour index) of 15 or more. The focus is on those with "moderate to severe" apnea.

Unfortunately, the DOT examiner who did my physical, after having received a "diagnosis" of OSA, then demanded that I begin CPAP therapy. I nearly jumped through the phone while telling her she was misinterpreting this and other portions of her responsibility as a health care professional. I told her this is unacceptable and I would need to speak with her director.

To make a long story short, she decided that she needed to talk with her Director and would call me back. All the while, now agitated and calling me Mr. rather than Joe.

She called back finally and said that if the Sleep Dr. "prescribes" treatment that does not include CPAP (which they will), and sends her a letter stating such, she'll give me a 30 day card. I asked, then what? She replied, after 30 days, they will have to confirm that you have been compliant and then a 90 day card will be issued, etc. Just like the requirements for CPAP, but in human form and not via smart card.

So, in my meeting with the Dr. today, I will ask for a revision to the diagnosis and it should read "mild sleep apnea" and well under the standard definition of "moderate to sever" as is the focus of the DOT. No restrictions or specific treatment is warranted, only lifestyle changes (lose wt., stop smoking, exercise). Any responsible health care professional would issue a 1 year card, rather than going the typical route. We'll see.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition and should be treated as such! Just be careful that your examiner and subsequent sleep tech/MD is interpreting things correctly so that you are not subject to be tied to this machine for the rest of your professional lives, based on misinterpreted guidance, remembering that there is no legislation regarding truck driving and CPAP machines! The guidance however is somewhat clear, as you can see in the bulletin posted originally. On the other hand, take the treatment if you feel that you will benefit from it as so many have. I will not benefit from it. I sleep well and have absolutely no other symptoms.

I'll let everyone know what happens after my appointment today. One thing that is certain, I will not be purchasing any sort of machine.

Stay tuned..... Joe R.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joe R.'s Comment
member avatar

Finally, some professional logic.

The sleep Dr. has recommended no treatment and no follow up appointments. She simply suggests that I lose a few pounds and avoid sleeping on my back (you might recall that I had 18 minutes out of 9 hours where I slept on my back and apneas increased slightly). Without divulging the name of my health care organization, I will say that they are affiliated with one of the most respected Medical Universities on the cutting edge of medicine in the country. Conversely, the DOT certified Nurse Practitioner who did my exam, works for another, not so highly touted health care organization.

With no other symptoms beside BMI , and my low scores from the sleep study, she reports that while borderline Sleep Apnea exists (by the mildest of standards), my insurance company would not even consider me a candidate for CPAP.

Now waiting to see what the NP who did my exam does with this information. It should be interesting, but a 1 year card seems to be her only option at this point. I cannot imagine how she would be able to justify anything less.

The moral to the story: A diagnosis of OSA does not necessarily mean that CPAP is the answer, no matter how much they try and tell you it's the law!!! Don't let this happen to you if you can avoid it. Demand justification if your AHI proves to be fewer than 15. Know that the standards are being implemented in order to pay for their overpriced sleep study programs and not necessarily by what DOT/FMCSA recommends.

If particular companies have implemented their own standards, that is a different story. Drivers have no recourse there and must abide by company policy or move on. At least now, I have documentation to carry with me and an incredible motivation to lose weight a little faster.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

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.

Fm:

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.
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TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

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Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

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