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Blog Feature

By: Tamara Sellman on October 10th, 2017

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This Week in Sleep Medicine: October 10, 2017

Sleep Technologist Advice

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

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


“A.W.A.K.E. Angels” reconnect evacuated sleep apnea patients with their therapy
October 6, 2017 

From the blog: “In September, the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) was able to mobilize a network of volunteers to help deliver CPAP machines and equipment to victims of Hurricane Harvey. …This grassroots effort involved a coalition of individuals, sleep health professionals, and ASAA team members to see its way to fruition.

Takeaway:  We can do great things together when we put our minds to it. Thanks to the support of the AAST for this effort!

Disclaimer:  The curator of "While You Were Sleeping" is the author of this blog post as well as a contracted employee for the ASAA.


Dr. Barry Krakow’s Review of Totally CPAP – Part 2
October 4, 2017 

From the review: “[I]n all of sleep medicine, the most frequent complaints are about dealings with the DME company, which explains in part the success of Classic SleepCare, because not only are they exclusively dedicated to sleep apnea devices and supplies, but also, they have created a large infrastructure of operational components to tackle all of the likely snafus that may arise in dealing with dissatisfied patients, disorganized sleep centers and their staff, and vexing bureaucracies within some insurance companies.

Takeaway:  In case you missed it, here is Part 1.


Medicare and Sleep Apnea
October 6, 2017

From the blog: “If a doctor has recently diagnosed you with sleep apnea, a major question you probably have is, 'Will insurance help cover treatment?' If you’re over 65, you are definitely wondering 'will Medicare cover CPAP?'

Takeaway: There's been a recent trend in discussions citing the phrase "health is the new wealth." Affordability of treatment is top of mind in patients, and those with Medicare will have questions. In fact, other recent research shows that many patients will not fill or even start therapies solely because of the cost of copays (for both medications and DME like CPAP). This blog post lays out the particulars in a useful way; you might consider sharing this information for those patients who seemed concerned about affording their therapy. 


FDA Approves Implanted Device to Treat Central Sleep Apnea
October 8, 2017

From the article: “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new treatment option for patients who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe central sleep apnea (CSA). The Remedē System is an implantable device that stimulates a nerve located in the chest that is responsible for sending signals to the diaphragm to stimulate breathing.”

Takeaway: If this technology does as well as Inspire has to treat obstructive sleep apnea, it could be a real boon for people with central sleep apnea.


A Dream Deprivation Epidemic Has One Sleep Expert Worried
October 4, 2017

From the article: “'We are at least as dream-deprived as we are sleep-deprived,' said Rubin Naiman, PhD author of the report. He’s a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Naiman writes that REM sleep is crucial to proper health. In the report, he called our current situation a 'silent epidemic of REM sleep deprivation.'

Takeaway: The prevalent use of so many medications known to suppress REM sleep doesn't help matters. 


Michel Jouvet: Sleep research pioneer (1925 – 2017)
October 4, 2017

From the tribute: “In the late 1950s, Jouvet’s neurological research on cats led to a surprising discovery. 'It was then that, by serendipity, we observed a phenomenon which surprised us very much,' he wrote in a retrospective article published in 2001. He found that muscle activity is inhibited during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a state which he called 'paradoxical sleep.'

Takeaway: The paralysis of REM sleep was first discovered by Jouvet. It remains a key component of every full-hookup polysomnogram. Without those chin EMG leads, it's so much harder to identify REM sleep, a sleep stage so critical in the diagnostic process.


SIDEWALK SLEEPING: Manteca walks legal, political tightrope
October 7, 2017

From the article: “The city can’t legally ban anyone lying or sitting on all public property including sidewalks as it would essentially make it illegal to be homeless given the courts have said they have the right to sleep as much as anyone else.

Takeaway: Be prepared to hear more and more about the right to sleep among homeless people, as this is a social issue that seems to be gaining steam across the country.

BIO:  Tamara Sellman RPSGT, CCSH curates the sleep health information clearinghouse, SleepyHeadCENTRAL, where she follows sleep health news headlines daily. She is also Web Consultant for the American Sleep Apnea Association, writes MS-related columns for two medical publishers, and contributes as a freelance writer to AAST’s magazine, A2Zzz, and other places.

The 2017 Fall Course, Current Technology Trends in Sleep Medicine, will be held at the Louisville Marriott East in Louisville, KY, from October 13 - 14, 2017. Will you be there?

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