Sleep Apnea and the Trucking industry
Approximately 3 in 10 professional truck drivers have Obstructive
Sleep Apnea (OSA)! Drivers with sleep apnea are 6 to 7 times more likely to be
involved in an auto accident. Their reaction time is equivalent to someone with
a blood alcohol level of .07.The good news is that with treatment, most apnea
related collisions, costs and deaths can be prevented.
While FMCSA has yet to impose any formal rules, there may soon be a
mandate, which requires sleep testing at the time of a driver’s medical physical
if he or she has symptoms of a sleep disorder. A likely first step is for FMCSA
to advise medical examiners who perform commercial driver physical exams to
consider drivers who present with a Body Mass Index of 35 or more as possible
sleep apnea sufferers.
Research shows that treatment benefits truckers, carriers and
travelers in general. For example, in a case study done by Schneider National
Transportation in which they implemented a screening, diagnosis and treatment
program for their drivers with sleep apnea, there was a 73% reduction in
preventable accidents, a 91% reduction in hospital admissions and an overall 57%
reduction in healthcare expenses
Truckers who are diagnosed with OSA will most likely be prescribed
Continuous Positive Airway (CPAP) Therapy. Furthermore, those drivers will be
required to adhere to their therapy program or risk losing their commercial
liscense. CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Service) defines a compliant
patient as one who uses their equipment a minimum of 4 hours each night, 5
nights a week.
While CPAP Therapy is an extremely effective method of treatment,
success is often limited by a patient’s ability to remain compliant with the
prescribed program. The number one issue is an inability to sleep with the CPAP
Our CPAP Pillows accommodate any CPAP mask to help truckers sleep
more comfortably and in compliance with their prescribed CPAP Therapy program.