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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on August 29th, 2016

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: August 29, 2016

Sleep Technologist Advice

 

While you were sleeping puppy and kitten aast

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.

CULTURE WATCH

Study Raises Safety Concerns Over the Online Sale of Secondhand CPAP Devices
SLEEP REVIEW
August 11, 2016

From the article: “Once a week the research team monitored online advertisements for secondhand CPAP devices on Craigslist.org in 18 US cities and areas over a one-month period. …During that time they found 270 advertisements, most of which did not describe who previously had used the device or why it was being sold.  Only five of the advertisements mentioned anything about the legal requirements of a prescription and 61% of the devices included a used mask without information about its age or how it was cleaned.”

Takeaway: Patients buy their CPAP equipment online to save money.  While we can’t fault them that, we do need to make sure they are aware of the potential risks of purchasing previously used machines, masks, and equipment which are sold, not only online, but even in local resale or garage sale venues. They need to be educated on the risks of infection and treatment failure that come from using secondhand equipment, which greatly exceeds any potential discounts they might enjoy.

 

INDUSTRY WATCH

Flexing Her Skillset: Laura Linley, CRTT, RST, RPSGT
SLEEP REVIEW
August 14, 2016

From the article:Sleep Review recently conducted an e-mail interview with Linley to share insights gleaned from her career.”

Takeaway: Congratulations to Laura Linley for participating in this excellent Q&A with Sleep Review editor Sree Roy; the more people (inside and outside our industry) hear from the voices inside our field, the more they can understand and appreciate the challenges to our line of work. Thanks Laura!

 

TREND WATCH

Health care is among worst industries in Gallup poll of public perception
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
August 18, 2016

From the article: “Two other industries -- healthcare and pharmaceuticals -- have gone down in public esteem. … the healthcare industry is now at a five-year low.  Its -20 net-positive score is down from -6 in 2015 and the lowest since 2011…”

Takeaway: American trust in the healthcare system continues to skew negatively in public perception. This means we have to continue to make quality patient care, education, and outcomes our goals in every facet of the medical field, including the sleep center.  See the poll here.

TECHNOLOGY WATCH

Periodic limb movements of sleep: Empirical and theoretical evidence supporting objective at-home monitoring
NATURE AND SCIENCE OF SLEEP
August 8, 2016

From the article: “Although elevated PLMI values were commonly observed, routinely acquired clinical information had only weak predictive utility.  As the clinical importance of elevated PLMI continues to evolve, it is likely that objective measures such as PSG or at-home PLMS monitors will prove increasingly important for clinical and research endeavors.”

Takeaway: This might be another promising home-based diagnostic service that clinics can pursue in a joint referral effort with local cardiologists, given the relationship between elevated PLMI and cardiovascular disease that has been the focus of recent research.

PHARMA WATCH

As states OK medical marijuana laws, doctors struggle with knowledge gap
FIERCE HEALTHCARE
August 16, 2016

From the article: “Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine for almost 20 years.  But Farmington physician Jean Antonucci says she continues to feel unprepared when counseling sick patients about whether the drug could benefit them.  ‘Will it help my glaucoma? Or my chronic pain? My chemotherapy’s making me nauseous, and nothing’s helped.  Is cannabis the solution?’  Patients hope Antonucci, 62, can answer those questions.  But she said she is still ‘completely in the dark.’”

Takeaway: Not only are doctors lacking in a foundational understanding of what using marijuana can do to the sleep cycle, there are huge gaps in research involving the examination of cannabinoids on sleep health.  Let’s hope there’s more emphasis on this in upcoming seminars, conferences, and workshops.

HEALTH LITERACY WATCH

Family Talk: The impact of family on sleep
THE OKLAHOMAN
August 14, 2016

From the article: “ ‘This October on the campus of Penn State University, a group of scholars and family advocates will gather to consider the topic “Sleep Across the Life Course: Family Influences & Impacts.’ The more I read, the more I became aware of the importance of the topic—and the fact that I had given it scant thought for 60 years.”

Takeaway: As sleep technologists, we already likely understand how many ways that family has influence over sleep health.  Sleep hygiene practices are learned in families, some sleep disorders have a familial connection, and family members can either be great motivators for those who suffer, or they can be the chief reason why people struggle to sleep. It drives home the point that we need to remember that when we are working with patients, we are also, in many ways, working with their families (or may need to).

LEGISLATION WATCH

FMCSA Medical Review Board to make recommendations about sleep apnea among CMV drivers
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE
August 18, 2016

From the article: “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Medical Review Board (MRB) will have a public meeting on Aug. 22-23, 2016, to address the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) issued by the FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on safety-sensitive rail and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  The MRB will make recommendations to the FMCSA based on feedback received during the public comment period.”

Takeaway: This could be a boon for many sleep practices employing medical specialists who work with professional drivers, pilots, and other transportation operators to determine their safety on the job as it relates to sleep health.  However, this could also be a contentious issue nationally; powerful lobbies have worked hard to prevent required sleep testing for this constituency, which may be the outcome of this new rulemaking effort.

About the author

Tamara Kaye Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily.  She the Chief Content Officer (CCO) for inboundMed and SomnoSure and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and MultipleSclerosis.net, among other places.

 

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