Putting sleep apnea to rest

Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab, which has facilities located alongside Pilot Travel Centers across the country, is teaming up with Sleep Point LLC to offer nationwide screening for obstructive sleep apnea for over-the-road drivers.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. The end result is, of course, disrupted sleep. The Federal Motor Carrier’s Safety Administration sponsored a study with the American Trucking Assn. that found nearly 1.1 million drivers are affected by sleep apnea.

As anyone who has ever gone without a full night’s sleep, you know you’re not as alert and your reactions aren’t as sharp the next day. Can we afford to have truck drivers hauling 80,000 lbs. of a vehicle drifting off to sleep? Of course not.

Roadside Medical says this venture is the first that brings services for sleep apnea to the instead of routing the driver to an out-of-the-way treatment facility.

“This joint venture with Roadside Medical provides us with the opportunity to reach more professional drivers suffering from obstructed sleep apnea, therefore reducing the number of fatigue-related accidents,” said Duke Naipohn, president & CEO, Sleep Pointe. “With our comprehensive treatment approach and compliance program we will be able to help companies keep their drivers on the road not only saving them costs, but saving lives.”

Sleep Point provides sleep disorder screening and treatment services, and combined with Roadside Medical clinics and Pilot, with over 300 locations in 41 states, is trying to prevent a sleep-related disaster.

To that, I say, bravo.

Fleets interested in opening the door to participation for their drivers can call Miranda Hutton at 316-683-2323.