Saturday, September 17, 2011

Untreated Sleep Apnea & Accidents Report: Bus crash victims, families settle for $3.25 million; driver fell asleep

Can your organization afford to let employees NOT be successful in OSA treatment? JR

Report: Bus crash victims, families settle for $3.25 million; driver fell asleep

The driver of a bus that crashed, killing two people, on Interstate 90 a few miles near Oakland in 2009 had fallen asleep at the wheel, according to the Suk Law Firm.
Seventeen of the 22 passengers of the Nov. 18, 2009, crash reached a settlement of $3.25 million Wednesday afternoon.
The civil cases filed against the bus company, Bold Lines Inc., which does business as Strain Tours in Rochester, had been slated for a pretrial hearing in Freeborn County District Court on Oct. 27. The bus company’s insurance agency will pay the settlement.
Firefighters and rescue crews worked to remove bus riders from an overturned bus just west of Austin in November of 2009. A settlement of $3.25 million was reached Wednesday. — Herald file photo
Jim Suk, lead attorney for the claimants, said the victims feel vindicated by the settlement.
“The clients are very relieved that at least the bus company’s insurance company stepped up to the plate and realized there was a wrong done here,” Suk said. “They were disappointed law enforcement didn’t investigate further before concluding this was a medical emergency.”
The eastbound bus, full of mostly senior citizens, was headed to Rochester, returning from Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa, when it veered into the median, avoided oncoming traffic of the westbound lanes and landed on its side in the north ditch. It happened at milepost 172 of I-90. Along with the two fatalities, 21 people were injured in the crash.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MEDICARE ALERT - What the 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule means for your ability to receive quality health care coverage

This issue is relevant to anyone on Medicare or Tricare

OR anyone related to anyone on Medicare/Tricare

OR any one on an insurance indexed to Medicare (everyone with commercial insurance)....

Your access to quality health care may be in jeopardy unless Congress acts to halt cuts in payments for Medicare and TRICARE patients effective Jan. 1. With cuts averaging 30 percent, clinicians will have difficulty covering the costs of medical services. Physicians including your sleep specialist will be forced to cut costs and limit the number of Medicare and TRICARE patients that they see. The AASM needs your help to stop these cuts.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sleep Apnea risk factor for Coronary Artery Disease

From Medscape Medical News

New Findings Support Obstructive Sleep Apnea as a Risk Factor for Coronary Artery Disease
Becky McCall

September 24, 2010 (Barcelona, Spain) — The latest findings from a Swedish study suggest that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) might be a stronger risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD) than commonly recognized factors like obesity, diabetes, smoking, and hypertension, and even more prevalent in the CAD population than has been previously reported.

Here at the European Respiratory Society 2010 Annual Congress, Yuksel Peker, MD, a pulmonologist at Skaraborg Hospital in Skövde, Sweden, presented the latest findings from the ongoing Randomized Intervention with CPAP in Coronary Artery Disease and Sleep Apnoea (RICCADSA) trial.


The study is ongoing, Dr. Peker acknowledged, but analyses of baseline demographics and comorbidity profiles continue to strongly support OSA as a risk factor for CAD.

Dr. Peker said that not only is the prevalence of OSA "surprisingly high," these patients do not always show typical symptoms such as sleepiness.

"We found that the prevalence of OSA is 64% in the CAD population. This is very high. Hypertension is 58% and obesity 28% [in this population], so OSA is much more common than more conventional risk factors. Of course, these comorbidities probably interact. In fact, CAD patients with OSA have far more comorbidities than CAD patients without OSA," he told Medscape Medical News.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sleep apnea tied to migraines, heart arrhythmia in Vikings' Percy Harvin

Report: Harvin dealing with sleep apnea

Last update: September 10, 2010 - 5:46 AM

NEW ORLEANS -- Percy Harvin has expressed confidence of late that doctors are confident they have found a way to manage the wide receiver's issue with migraine headaches.

But Harvin had refused to elaborate on the topic until Thursday.

Harvin told NBC reporter Andrea Kremer that he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and that doctors believe that is the main issue triggering migraine headaches that kept Harvin out for much of training camp.

Harvin had an extremely scary moment during the preseason when he collapsed on the field at Winter Park after the onset of another migraine. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and said his heart stopped beating for 10 seconds while he was there. Doctors began to believe that Harvin was not getting enough oxygen while sleeping.....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sleepiness and health in midlife women

Sleepiness and health in midlife women: results of the National Sleep Foundation's 2007 Sleep in America poll.

Chasens ER, Twerski SR, Yang K, Umlauf MG.

Behav Sleep Med. 2010 Jul;8(3):157-71.


The 2007 Sleep in America poll, a random-sample telephone survey, provided data for this study of sleep in community-dwelling women aged 40 to 60 years. The majority of the respondents were post- or perimenopausal, overweight, married or living with someone, and reported good health. A subsample (20%) reported sleepiness that consistently interfered with daily life; the sleepy subsample reported more symptoms of insomnia, restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, depression and anxiety, as well as more problems with health-promoting behaviors, drowsy driving, job performance, household duties, and personal relationships. Hierarchical regression showed that sleepiness along with depressive symptoms, medical comorbidities, obesity, and lower education were associated with poor self-rated health, whereas menopause status (pre-, peri- or post-) was not. These results suggest that sleep disruptions and daytime sleepiness negatively affect the daily life of midlife women.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Here is a link to the FULL text of an article on polycystic ovarian syndrome and sleep apnea. Many physicians are unaware of this link. And, the sleep apnea may contribute to sleepiness and other neuropsychological symptoms. Josh Rotenberg MD

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder of pre-menopausal women, is characterized by chronic hyperandrogenism, oligoanovulation, obesity and insulin resistance. Importantly, PCOS women are at increased risk for glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Recent reports indicate an unexpectedly high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in PCOS. Alterations in sex steroids (i.e. high androgen and low estrogen levels) and increased visceral adiposity in PCOS could potentially contribute to the increased prevalence of OSA in this disorder. There is some evidence to suggest that there may be strong associations between the presence and severity of OSA and the metabolic disturbances that characterize PCOS. Causal mechanisms in the link between PCOS and OSA remain to be elucidated. Clinicians who manage PCOS patients should be aware of the high prevalence of OSA in these patients and systematically evaluate these women for sleep disturbances.

Recent car crash or fender bender? Truck crash? Check your sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Of all occupations in the United States, workers in the trucking industry experience the third highest fatality rate, accounting for 12% of all worker deaths. In 2006, there were 368,000 police-reported large truck crashes, resulting in 4,321 fatalities and 77,000 injuries.1 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Among the strategies employed by the FMCSA to accomplish this goal are the development and maintenance of medical fitness standards for drivers of commercial vehicles; these standards are applied by medical examiners to commercial drivers, who are required by Federal statute to undergo medical qualification examinations at least every 2 years.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent and potentially dangerous condition among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. While OSA is conservatively estimated to affect approximately 5% of the general population,2 the condition appears to be much more prevalent in commercial drivers. Howard et al. estimated that 50% of more than 3000 commercial drivers were at risk for sleep apnea.3 Pack et al. found that 28.2% of 406 commercial drivers had at least mild sleep apnea and 4.7% had severe sleep apnea by conventional criteria.4 The majority of research indicates that OSA is a significant cause of motor vehicle crashes.3,59 Thus, assessment of the risk of OSA and development of effective methods to identify and treat commercial drivers with OSA is an important part of the mission of the FMCSA. Since the most recent standards for medical examiners regarding OSA are from a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored conference in 1991,10 these standards required an evidence-based update.
The current study was designed to provide evidence for updating the standards by conducting a systematic review of the relevant literature concerning OSA and CMV drivers. The literature consists predominantly of cohort and case-control studies. Given that few studies specifically enroll CMV drivers, studies that included non-CMV drivers were also evaluated.
The primary objective of this study was to determine whether individuals with OSA are at an increased risk for a motor vehicle crash when compared to individuals without OSA. If so, a secondary objective was to identify disease-related factors associated with an increased motor vehicle crash risk.

DESIGN/SETTING: Seven electronic databases (MEDLINE, PubMed (PreMEDLINE), EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, TRIS, and the Cochrane library) were searched (through May 27, 2009), as well as the reference lists of all obtained articles. We included controlled studies (case-control or cohort) that evaluated crash risk in individuals with OSA. We evaluated the quality of each study and the interplay between the quality, quantity, robustness, and consistency of the body of evidence, and tested for publication bias. Data were extracted by 2 independent analysts. When appropriate, data from different studies were combined in a fixed- or random-effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Individuals with OSA are clearly at increased risk for crash. The mean crash-rate ratio associated with OSA is likely to fall within the range of 1.21 to 4.89. Characteristics that may predict crash in drivers with OSA include BMI, apnea plus hypopnea index, oxygen saturation, and possibly daytime sleepiness.

CONCLUSIONS: Untreated sleep apnea is a significant contributor to motor vehicle crashes.