This Week in Sleep Medicine: September 17, 2019
While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week
Your media watchdog for headlines and trends
relevant to sleep technology and patient education.
Access to Care Week
OBESITY CARE WEEK
August 23, 2019
From the website: “Today, more than 93 million adult Americans are living with obesity. Many do not know obesity is a disease and that their healthcare provider can help them with weight-loss and maintenance. Others do not have insurance coverage to help them pay for these healthcare options. …Everyone should have access to healthcare. Access should not be limited by a person’s size, weight or economic status. Access to care is not a complicated idea. It can mean different things for different people, but in the end, it is about people getting the help they need to treat obesity. …Access to care begins with seeing obesity as a chronic disease diagnosed by a healthcare provider.”
Takeaway: Many of our patients end up in our care because of the well-established connection between poor sleep and obesity. It behooves us all to give these patients the same quality of care and compassion as we do all other patients. Fat shaming, in particular, is not compatible with the provision of quality of health care. It's a good reminder—not just for this week, but for every night we work with patients—that obesity is both a cause and effect issue with sleep health and our job is to help them bridge this widespread medical problem without judgment.
Out of Breath
INDEPENDENT FILM PROJECT
August 23, 2019
From the project summary: “Nearly one billion people suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A 40 year old device is the only widespread treatment option. Why do medical students get minimal training and fewer doctors enter the field? This film will explore personal stories of lives shattered and expert testimony on the reasons professionals ignore this disease.”
Takeaway: Sometimes the best way to deliver the message of health is through the arts. This film sounds like an amazing project, which a high-caliber advisory board already established.
SLEEP HYGIENE WATCH
Engineer with sleep apnea who caused fatal Hoboken train crash gets his job back
September 11, 2019
From the article: “The engineer who was operating an NJ Transit train that crashed in Hoboken Terminal in September 2016, killing a woman walking through the station and injuring 108, will return to work after winning an appeal. …Thomas Gallagher, who blacked out at the controls on Sept. 29, 2016, due to undiagnosed sleep apnea, won his arbitration case on Aug. 28 and will be reinstated as an engineer, as long as he meets medical conditions and continues sleep apnea treatment. ”
Takeaway: This is where sleep health educators and sleep technologists working with DME providers and/or directly with patients can participate in a truly valuable public service: compliance monitoring and support.