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Adventures in Sleep

With Sleep Issues, Truck Drivers Don't Know Where to Turn

Published September 2, 2010 1:58 PM by Amy Reavis
I recently received a phone call from a truck driver who has a temporary license because his neck was bigger than the recommended guidelines. He was told he needed a test to prove he was safe to drive. He found me online and called to ask what test the doctor was talking about.

Truck drivers often don't know what tests they need and what follow up they require once they get a CPAP. This lack of education for them is going to be tough to overcome.

Complicating matters is the fact that many truckers have no insurance and little disposable income. In the case of our lab, we're working with home sleep testing to help them. It's less expensive for them, but they're still going to have to pay for a CPAP that can be monitored for compliance. We are fortunate that many DME companies around here will work with me to help these patients.

The other issue is that they need everything done in short order. They're not always in town, and they usually have less than 30 days to complete everything and get the paperwork submitted.

Truckers are definitely a niche market being underserved, but due to the lack of profit, the situation may not have an easy remedy. We're trying the best we can to accommodate these patients; however, we're always looking for new ideas. How we can better serve them and not overwhelm the lab with paperwork?
posted by Amy Reavis

3 comments

Contact the Truckers for a Cause Chapter of A. W. A. K. E.  as part of the national network of patient support groups through the American Sleep Apnea Association all of the questions and topic this thread is talking about are part of what we deal with on a regular basis.    awakw.truckersforacause.com

We are a patient support group of truck drivers with sleep apnea helping other drivers.  

Power supply issues (where do you plug in a CPAP) in a no idle area?

Scramblem compliance data from 12-V power supplies on an optimized idle equipped truck....

Moisture resistant flow sensors to prevent damage when using CPAP in team operations.....

Welcome to the world of treating OSA in over the road truck drivers.

Bob Stanton October 26, 2010 2:56 AM

I have been considering being independent travelling/outpatient/home care therapist;  i.e., going where needed, when needed.  There's probably at least a few issues to be worked out for this to be a viable solution, but I think it is something to be looked into.  When I teach sleep apnea classes, mostly at Kaiser Permanente Medical Facilities, I discuss the issues confronted by truck drivers, regarding testing, compliance and follow-up.  It seems to me that bottom-line, we will have to literally follow them and an independent therapist seems a possibility, at least a start.  

elaine sampson, Sleep Apnea - respiratory Care Practitioner , Per diem staffing systems September 14, 2010 2:15 PM
San Francisco East Bay AreA CA

Thank you for sharing this as we are also feeling the need to educate our truck drivers.  There are recommended guidelines but to my knowledge no regulations that are written in stone so there are many confusing aspects for the drivers who are not involved in the day to day processes.  Educate, Educate, Educate!

Raquel ROthe, sleep medicine - CRT-NPS, Sleep Tech, Sleep EZ Diagnostic Center, Inc. September 7, 2010 4:51 PM
Salem VA

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    Adventures in Sleep
    Occupation: Sleep technicians
    Setting: Various sleep facilities
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