Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Jobs and Careersotr truckingSafetyTruck Driving JobsTruckers HealthTruckingtrucking life

Sleep Apnea Testing Coming Soon for Truck Drivers

May
13,
2010
21

By Allen Smith

Allen Smith

Allen Smith

In a meeting yesterday, May 12th, 2010, the FMCSA began discussions on the concerns of fatigue on truck drivers.  Citing that fatigue is a major problem among truckers, it was also noted that the medical condition, sleep apnea, is a major contributor to fatigue.  The FMCSA and the National Sleep Foundation have initiated an awareness campaign called “Get on the Road to Better Health: Recognizing the Dangers of Sleep Apnea.”

While the final plans for sleep apnea testing for truck drivers play out, present discussion is pointing to the possibilities of having drivers tested for the condition, who have a body mass index of 30 or higher.  The FMCSA is wanting testing done when a driver’s BMI is at least 30, while the Sleep Apnea Medical Expert Panel is recommending testing at the 33 level.  Although a date for the new requirements have not been announced, it is noted that there are still much needed discussion on how to handle various aspects of the proposed initiative. One aspect being who exactly will be responsible for paying for the testing : the trucking company or the truck driver?   Don Osterberg, Senior V. P. of safety for Schneider National points out that the total cost for sleep apnea testing will run around $3500, with about $2,000 for the sleep study and $1,500 for the equipment.

As per our previous post from July 14th, 2009 on the future of sleep apnea testing for truckers, talks are in the works again for truckers to face another regulation in relationship to trucking safety.  As a concerned driver, you can check your  BMI to see where you would stand in this issue.

Although the roll-out date is still in question, R. Clay Porter, a partner at Dennis, Corry, Porter & Smith, LLP, pointed out that while sleep apnea has not yet become a major player in the realm of truck litigation, he also said that  it is “going to be part of this legal landscape sooner rather than later.”

© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrStumbleUponDeliciousDiggShare This!

Previous

Next

By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

Tagged: , , , , ,

21 Responses to Sleep Apnea Testing Coming Soon for Truck Drivers. - Post a Comment

  1. Eskimoe Joe

    What will they think of next??? How about creating a set of circumstances where the driver can actually get sufficient sleep and add the $3500. cost of the sleep apnea test to the drivers wages!!!

  2. [...] UPDATE: Read our updated post from May 13th, 2010 -Sleep apnea testing coming soon for truck drivers. [...]

  3. David

    I am outraged at the body mass index test basis. I have apnea and have been successfully treated for 10 years. It was a major turning point in my life when I started using a bi-pap. The experts will tell you that people of all body shapes and weights are proned to apnea. It depends on how your throat is shaped. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO BE TESTED! I am sick and tired of physical discrimination. I am a bit overweight, but otherwise healthy. To say I have adverse medical conditions because of that is wrong and grossly unfair. Why don’t we start testing for medical conditions according to race and see how far that goes. This is just another try by the companies to purportedly save money on the cost of testing by discrimination. I’d say there is a lot of people out there with apnea and they’re all not fat! The roads would be safer if more were tested and treated.

  4. TOM

    I HAVE SLEEP APNEA AND USE A CPAP MACHINE WHILE SLEEPING. I WOULDN’T BE WITHOUT IT. I THOUGHT THAT “THE TIRED FEELING” IS THE WAY EVERYONE FELT. IT WAS MY FAMILY THAT TOLD ME THAT I SNORE REALLY BAD AND STOP BREATHING THEN GASP FOR AIR. I WENT AND HAD A SLEEP STUDY DONE CONFIRMING I HAD VERY BAD SLEEP APNEA. MY OXYGEN LEVEL IN MY BLOOD WENT AS LOW AS 30%. PRETTY SCARY. I COULD NOT DRIVE MORE THAN A COUPLE HOURS BEFORE I NEEDED TO TAKE A NAP. IT WAS PRETTY SCARY TRYING TO STAY AWAKE. BUT SINCE I’M USING THE CPAP MACHINE, I CAN DRIVE A FULL SHIFT OF 650-700 MILES WITHOUT HAVE TO TAKE A NAP. IT’S AMAZING HOW WELL I SLEEP. I HAVE A PORTABLE MACHINE WITH A HUMIDIFIER ON IT THAT COMES WITH A 12 VOLT ADAPTER FOR MY TRUCK. IF YOU FEEL YOU MAY HAVE SLEEP APNEA, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU CALL YOUR DOCTOR AND GET A SLEEP STUDY APPOINTMENT. IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.

  5. JOHN THOMAS

    Ditto to you Tom. Check out this website. Don’t use the usual search engine like Google, Yahoo, or MSN but go to the top of your computer and type in the Browser Address Bar. http://www.sleeptestingamericaathome.com and check out the website. It has a lot of good information, and then contact us with any questions. Tell all of your fellow drivers that there is a simple and inexpensive way to stay in control of sleep apnea and be in compliance with the DOT.

  6. Ashlee Henegar

    Hi, my name is Ashlee and i work in a sleep lab. I was reading up on the new regulations regarding truck drivers. While I do agree that drivers should be tested for sleep apnea, I dont agree that it should only be drivers over a certain bmi. I have many patients come in here who are well under a bmi of 30 who have severe sleep apnea. On the other hand I have patients who come here who are not diagnosed with sleep apnea who are concidered over-weight. Sleep apnea doesnt have a preference who it effects. Short, tall, big or small.. anybody can be affected with sleep apnea. I believe all should be tested. My cpap has changed my life… tired isnt just part of being an adult.. its part of a problem.. when osa (obstructive sleep apnea) goes untreated it can cause major problems ie lung and heart problems. If you believe you might have it.. call your family doctor and have them refer you to the closest sleep lab.. I dont recommend home studys for sleep apnea.. they cant even tell if your asleep.. they do not go into detail and when it has to do with a topic so serious i believe you deserve details.. if anybody has any questions regarding sleep apnea feel free to email me at AshleeHenegar@gmail.com and ill be happy to help in anyway.. Thanks!

  7. Jo Coggan

    Hi Ashlee,
    Just wondering if you had any idea on how long it takes for the results of a sleep apnea test to come back?
    My husband who is a truck driver had his licence suspended because of an accident and has undergone a sleep apnea test but we were told that it would take a month for the results to come back but we have spoken to others that have had the same testing done and they said they had their results back in a weeks time.

  8. Amanda

    Hi I am truck driver’s wife. My husband was obese, had sleep apnea among other medical conditions. Life on the road made him gain over 100 lbs over time . He tired very easily. I convinced him about finally doing something about his weight permanently. He had weight loss surgery and less than a year later he is normal weight, no sleep apnea, normal blood pressure and has more energy than he had in years. 3500 for sleep study and equip is crazy, he paid around 9000 for his surgery with a reputable surgeon and is enjoying all the benefits of being thin not only sleeping better with a machine. if the law is going to target high BMI drivers as the article says this is an option we know works and can help you keep your jobs. Take control and do something about it. I did a lot of research before going through with it. Email me if you would like information amanda.peter79@yahoo.com It was the best decision we made to improve his health and keep him working.

  9. Allen Smith

    Hi Amanda: Yes, I have heard about drivers going for such surgery in fear of CSA 2010. I am doing research into it now and will be posting/writing about my findings soon, specifically about a clinic that performs this surgery and are seeing more and more drivers as patients. thanks, Allen . . . update: here’s the post about what we discovered on this issue:

    http://www.warhorsemediadesign.com/askthetrucker/truck-drivers-seek-gastric-sleeve-surgery-for-csa-2010/

  10. Kim

    My husband is a trucker driver with sleep apnea. He went to a sleep center that gave the results the same day.

  11. [...] an interesting target market for the WatchPAT device – licensed commercial truck drivers. A legislative movement is currently afoot to have truckers regularly tested for sleep apnea due to concerns over truck driver fatigue. [...]

  12. Angelique

    $3500 cost for a sleeping TEST???
    Why this expensive .. and who is earning a heated pool for their brand new homes? These doctors are m.i. overpaid!!!

    $ 3500 is MORE than a MONTHS wage!!!
    How long must one save up to get this amount of money together?

  13. roger

    well my big problem with this bs is that sence 2003 thay have been tracking death related accdenst and 2003 was over 5000 now we are supost to be fater then ever and the accidents are down to 2300 now either we are fat and tired or we are safer now more than we have ever been…. cant be both. if we are fat and safer then leave us alone. fat skinny dpse not matter it is what the diver is doing with his off time. most do not rest like they should. most are at the truck stops trying to play cb rambo or sitting in the restaurant drinking coffee. how many time have you drove in a truck stop and saw a tv on in a truck and ten hours later when you leave the tv is still on. you are not getting good sleep when the tv is on and lights on in the trk.and let alone the noise.

  14. roger

    Do you smoke? do you drink a lot of coffee? I have sleep apnea and I do not have a cpap and I can drive from Tampa, FL to Houston, TX in one swift movement, 16 hours and never fell asleep. My oxygen level last ph. was 93% but I do not drink beer and Ie do not drink coffee. I do not smoke. People are stupid when it comes to health. When people are put on a cpap they become dependent on it and need to go to sleep at the same time every day. That is not how truck driver hours work. So having a cpap kind of makes you useless and what is your oxygen level now? I’ll bet it is not any better. Prove it if it is. Show me a doctor’s sheet that states that it has gone up from using this device.

  15. Tim

    $3500!!….I should be so lucky….that’s what JUST THE SLEEP STUDY COST ME….now add $2900 for the stinking Bi-Pap Machine and accessories for it, $300 for the consultation, and, oh yeah, the friggin ABSOLUTELY USELESS MWT at another $800!! And this is for the Coast Guards requirement for me to get my license renewed. What a bunch of S–t!!!

  16. @ Previous posts:

    This info may help direct those who have questions about sleep apnea dealing with commercial drivers of any kind.

    30% of truck drivers are diagnosed with sleep apnea; that is 1 in 3 truck drivers that have sleep apnea. 80% of actual drivers may have sleep apnea but have not been diagnosed or checked out. Fatigue (an effect of Sleep Apnea) results in 13% of truck accidents.

    A recent statistic has shown that in the year 2000: 800,000 accidents were OSA (Sleep Apnea) related. Not taking care of Sleep Apnea could result in disqualification of trucking rights within a company.

    Many Commercial truck drivers want to take care of the problem, but don’t know where and how. AAA Medical Solutions Inc is a company that for $200-$300 (depending on area) can be the facilitator to test for sleep apnea at home, and help diagnose a problem that can help save lives, and jobs.

    Medicaid will often pay the majority or all of the cost of sleep studies. However, Many Commercial truck drivers want to pay cash and skip the whole insurance processes, well AAA Medical Solutions Inc is available for this very reason.

    Best of Luck- Email anytime for more info

  17. sleep

    Sleep Dynamics specializes in the diagnosis and mobile therapeutic treatment of the sleep disorders that lead to workplace exposures such as chronic fatigue, poor performance, failing health, declining morale, accidents, injury, increased healthcare costs, greater risk of liability, and higher liability insurance premiums.

  18. albert verheiden

    SLEEP APNEA IS BS! i WAS DIAGNOSED WITH IT AND MY NECK IS OVER 17 INCHES WIDE, BECAUSE i AM FAT. i ALSO SNORE LOUD AND PROUD. AMBLES OF SAFE AND ENERGETICE TRUCK TRUCK DRIVERS HAVE BEEN FAT TO OBESE FOR THE PAST HUNDRED YEARS!!!! IF U GET TIRED EASY EAT A BETTER DIET AND GET OFF YOUR BIG FAT ASS AND EXERCISE ONCE IN A WHILE!! ENERGY DIET PILLS HELP TOO!! CPAP MACHINES ARE EXPENSIVE GARBAGE!! THEY CAUSE WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO TREAT AND RELIEVE. i NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM SLEEPING OR STAYING AWAKE!!! AND THE STUPID CPAP WAS TORTURE i CANT SLEEP WITH IT IT BURNS MY NOISE AND MAKES IT RUN!!! ALSO IT FIGHTS MY BREATHING FEELING LIKE IT CHOKES ME AND FIGHTS MY EXHALE, GIVES ME NASTY RASHES TOO!! YOU DONT NEED IT OR IF YOU DO STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM OPERATING ANY KIND OF MACHIMNERY YOU ARE SICK AND NOTHING BUT A NEGLEGENT HAZZARD IF U DO!!!! CPAP AND SLEEP APNEA IF NONSES A GIMMICK AND A BIG RIP-OFF!!!! TO HELL WITH SLEEP DOCTORS THEY ARE STUPID AND DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!

  19. albert verheiden

    SLEEP TESTING NEEDS TO STAY OUT OF PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS TREATMENT IS NOTHING BUT HARRASMENT AND DIS-HOMORS MY LEGAL RIGHT TO WORK AS A HEALTHY LAW ABIDING CITIZEN OF MY OWN COUNTRY!!!!! CPAP AND SLEEP STUDY ARE EXTORSION, BONDAGE AND TORTURE AND A BINCH OF B.S.!!!!! NO MATTER THE REGULATION, PEOPLE NEED TO PULL OVER IF THEY GET TIRED, CPAP IS A GIMMICK AND EXPENSIVE PEICE OF GARBAGE.!!!

  20. scott levan

    I am a big trucker 490 pounds and I had a sleep test done to find out i was borderline but not needed to use the machine so i guess that theory of BMI 30 % is garbbage…. dont discriminate against fat people

What do you have to say about this?

Close
To the top