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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH on March 17th, 2020

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: March 17, 2020

Sleep Technologist Advice

While You Were Sleeping: What Sleep Technologists Need to Know This Week

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relevant to sleep technology and patient education.


For the latest information, please check the following resources :


‘Scared to death’ dyspnoea from the hospitalised patient’s perspective
March 12, 2020

From the perspective: “Because dyspnoea is seldom experienced by healthy people, it can be hard for clinicians and researchers to comprehend the patient’s experience. We collected patients’ descriptions of dyspnoea in their own words during a parent study in which 156 hospitalised patients completed a quantitative multidimensional dyspnoea questionnaire. These volunteered comments describe the severity and wide range of experiences associated with dyspnoea and its impacts on a patients’ life. They provide insights not conveyed by structured rating scales.

Takeaway: It's never a bad idea to be reminded of the patient experience; we can become blind to their anxieties and concerns, especially if we work long schedules in busy labs. Practicing compassion is still a big part of our job in the field of healthcare.  


“Soooo, you can just, like, fall asleep?!” Spoken Word Poetry on Narcolepsy
March 16, 2020

From the blog post: “This video moved me to tears. Please watch and share Kara Sulzer’s powerful spoken word poetry on living with narcolepsy. Kara cuts right to the heart of so many key aspects of living with narcolepsy so quickly, discussing the symptoms, the social misperceptions and the BEST question she ever received.

Takeaway: Sometimes it's the arts that are best at raising awareness. 


A Workshop Report on the Causes and Consequences of Sleep Health Disparities
March 10, 2020

From the workshop summary: “In 2018, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research convened a workshop with experts in sleep, circadian rhythms, and health disparities to identify research gaps, challenges, and opportunities to better understand and advance research to address SHDs [sleep health disparities].

Takeaway: The trend is bigger than sleep medicine. It's SDOH: Social Determinants of Health, and it's a huge buzzword in disease management right now. These concepts will probably be on a future test somewhere in sleep technology training land.  


Sleep Apnea Classification: Multi-Night Portable Monitoring vs Single-Night Assessment
March 10, 2020

From the article: “Conducting only a single night of portable monitoring can misclassify disease severity in patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, according to study results published in CHEST.

Takeaway: It's not likely this will lead to more sleep studies per patient (too expensive and time consuming), but it might be a pathway for promoting portable study technologies and telemedicine options to support multiple studies to clarify severity. This matters as some patients diagnosed with mild OSA (and even some of their physicians) might misinterpret the idea of "mild" as meaning "CPAP optional."  


A Tongue Pacemaker for Sleep Apnea: Hope or Hype?
March 11, 2020

From the podcast: “Being a bit skeptical about new devices coming out in our field, I waited to see how Inspire performed, especially with long term outcomes, as well as complication rates. I was pleased to see that they published numerous long-term follow-up studies, even up to the 5 year mark. For the most part, all their studies showed improvements seen initially persist up to the 5 year mark. A systematic review and meta-analysis of all available studies in 2019 found that overall, the AHI dropped 21 points, Epworth Sleepiness Score dropped 5 points, and the FOSQ increased 3 points. More and more insurances are now beginning to cover this new technology. Well over 90% of patients are satisfied with the procedure, snoring elimination, and prefer it to CPAP.

Takeaway: In case you're wondering how Inspire's embedded device has done since its FDA approval in 2014. 


Solriamfetol Improves Several Quality of Life Markers in People With Narcolepsy
March 10, 2020

From the article: The findings from this study could have several significant implications, considering 'narcolepsy imparts a substantial economic burden to patients, families, and insurance providers, with high healthcare service utilization and healthcare dollars spent.'

Takeaway: Worth noting that Jazz Pharmaceuticals supported this study and several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry.


SUNY Binghamton Student Wins “Stay Awake! Stay Alive!” Drowsy Driving Video PSA Challenge
March 13, 2020

From the article: “The winning video and the two runners-up will be broadcast later this year on more than 160 TV stations nationwide, and they will be shown on monitors at rest stops along the New York State Thruway.

Takeaway: Watch the video here.


Handling the Inevitable Sleep Lab Patient Selfie
March 11, 2020

From the editor's letter: “Why you should enact a photo/video policy in your sleep disorders center.

Takeaway: Top of the list: protecting your job and protecting patient privacy.

BIO:  AAST blog columnist Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also an independent sleep health journalist, writes sleep-related columns for two chronic illness patient advocacy publishers, and contributes the Journal Club continued education presentations for the AAST. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.