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Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder, in which a person stops and starts breathing many times throughout a night. Often a person is unaware he or she is waking up. Sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans. It is estimated that 90 percent of people who have sleep apnea are unaware they have it.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Schneider National published a white paper that reveals its sleep apnea screening and treatment program has generated a return on investment in the form of savings on medical costs, accident reduction, reduced turnover and increased productivity.
According to the newsletter of the Truckload Carriers Association, the report drew the following conclusions:
- Among 348 drivers diagnosed with sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and who were treated, monthly medical costs were slashed in half.
- There was a 73 percent reduction in preventable driving accidents among a group of 225 SDB-diagnosed drivers treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, which are essentially breathing masks that use air pressure to ensure airways remain open during sleep.
- The driver retention rate of CPAP-treated individuals was 2.29 times greater than the total company driver population in 2004.
According to a July 2002 study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 28.1 percent of CDL holders have mild, moderate or severe sleep apnea. Wendy Sullivan, Schneider's occupational health manager, said that Schneider had long been investigating ways to cost-effectively diagnose and treat sleep apnea. In the past three years, the truckload giant has "recognized a trend in those medical records that sleep apnea had a lot to do with fatigue and hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. With 15,000 drivers, we're scaling this effort and learning as we go. With this sort of return on investment we decided that we're going to pay for the cost of this study and CPAP," the TCA report noted. --The Trucker News Services
HOW WE CAN HELP
The St. Luke’s Center of Sleep Medicine in response to this compelling issue has established various screening tools to assist in recognizing these high risk patients. These screening tools are an easy, time efficient and cost-effective way of improving the overall outcome of the patient.
We offer free parking at all of our locations. Our patient testing suites have Sleep Number beds by Select Comfort®, flat screen TVs with DVD players and cable. The bedroom suites are complete with ADA private restrooms including showers.
The goal of the St. Luke’s Center of Sleep Medicine is to aid in the awareness, education, screening and evaluation of sleep-disorder breathing. We have established various educational and screening programs that help identify and direct patients to a high quality of standard care. St. Luke’s Center of Sleep Medicine is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). St. Luke’s, through its affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine, has added the medical specialties of child neurology and neurophysiology, which complement our existing medical specialties of pulmonary and internal medicine from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic and Pulmonary Critical Care Sleep Medicine Consultants (PCCS). All of our affiliate sleep physicians obtain and maintain the specialty of Boarded Sleep Medicine specialists by board specific standards. Our technical staff members are licensed in Respiratory Care by the state of Texas and are credentialed in polysomnography, demonstrating competency in all technical aspects of polysomnography and met the requirements necessary for patient care and safety by the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT).