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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on May 1st, 2018

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: May 1, 2018

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

 sleeping african deer

Your media watchdog for headlines and trends 
relevant to sleep technology and patient education.



The Rest Project: How Penn Medicine is Helping Patients Sleep Better in the Hospital
April 25, 2018

From the press release: “[Megan] Mariotti [NP, MPH] led the resulting pilot effort to make information about patients’ sleep more evident to nurses. In that pilot, Mariotti’s team worked with an intern on the unit who wrote down the number of hours certain patients had slept the night before and how many times they had awakened, and posted those numbers somewhere prominent in the room so that nurses and other clinicians would see it. Another group of patients served as a control group for comparison, with their hours of sleep and number of awakenings recorded but not shared with their clinical team.”

Takeaway: It's encouraging to see nurses and researchers looking more closely at the value of making sleep health a vital sign among hospital patients. This is a great arena if you, as a sleep tech, are interested in making change within the system.


Predictors of Conversion to Neurodegenerative Disease in REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
April 26, 2018 

From the website: “Several prodromal markers among patients with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) convey a significant risk for conversion to neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy, according to data from a multicenter study presented at the 2018 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, April 21-27 in Los Angeles.

Takeaway: In the race to find treatments, preventive measures, screenings, and cures for these neurodegenerative disease, the world of sleep health is finally called upon to share what they've been researching all along. 


ATS Foundation and ResMed announce two-year research grant in sleep-disordered breathing
April 24, 2018

From the press release: “The ATS Foundation is pleased to announce its new ATS Foundation/ResMed Research Fellowship in Sleep-disordered Breathing and PAP Therapy.
The award will provide funding for two years in the amount of $100,000, provided by ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD), a global leader in connected health with more than 4 million cloud-connected PAP devices monitoring patients every night.

Takeaway: This is encouraging, given the current financial and economic climate in healthcare and medical research.


Analyses of the Complexity of Patients Undergoing Attended Polysomnography in the Era of Home Sleep Apnea Tests  
April 21, 2018

From the study: “The complexity of patients undergoing attended polysomnography has increased by 28% to 36% over the past decade as measured by validated comorbidity indices, and these indices correlate with the complexity of rendered care during polysomnography. These findings have implications for increasing requirements for staffing, monitoring capabilities, and facility design of future sleep centers.”

Takeaway: So much for expectations that home sleep apnea testing will destroy jobs for techs in sleep clinics… the sky really isn't falling. But you will have to be a really good tech to keep your job these days. Higher standards and demands placed on the technical and clinical knowledge among sleep techs will separate the good ones from the rest, eventually.


What Separates a Differential Pressure Sensor From Other Pressure Sensors?
April 26, 2018

From the article: “Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is commonly prescribed to treat sleep apnea. The machines need a differential pressure sensor to regulate flow to the user. Recently machines have even started to report statistics on when a user has an “event” which is basically a period of high resistance to flow. The Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) is used to quantify sleep apnea severity.

Takeaway: For the technical fact heads among us, here's an interesting look at the different kinds of sensors and how they work.


Solriamfetol Improves Wake-Time in Narcolepsy Types 1 and 2—Higher dosages showed greater improvements
April 25, 2018

From the article: Presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, the 12-week, phase III trial showed improvements in wakefulness and decreases in excessive sleepiness at various doses of the selective dopamine-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, according to lead author Michael J. Thorpy, MD, of Montefiore Medical Center in New York, and colleagues.” 

Takeaway: Getting decent medication to thwart the hypersomnia of narcolepsy is an ongoing battle, but here's some hopeful news you can share with patients. 


Medical Device Safety Action Plan: Protecting Patients, Promoting Public Health
April 17, 2018

From the website:  “The Medical Device Safety Action Plan: Protecting Patients, Promoting Public Health outlines how the agency will encourage innovation to improve safety, detect safety risks earlier, and keep doctors and patients better informed.” 

Takeaway: It's a start, and a necessary one. Too many devices making too many claims which users can't discern as true or false anymore.  


Railroad Accident Brief: Southwestern Railroad Collision Roswell, New Mexico
April 16, 2018

From the report: “The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was that the conductor of the Roswell Local train failed to return the switch for main track movement because he was fatigued.

Takeaway: One death, one injury, over $2 million in damages. 

BIO:  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 MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz. She can be reached at sleepyheadcentral@gmail.com.