Sleep Apnea Dangers and Rules

FMCSA and sleep apnea:  According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) study performed in 2005 more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.  Another study conducted by the University of Pensylvania sponsored by the FMCSA and others in the industry showed that commercial truck drivers are at a higher risk than the average population, with a 28% rate of sleep apnea.  Of those 17.6% have mild sleep apnea, 5.8% have moderate sleep apnea, and 4.7% have severe sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is reported in some studies to increase risk of accident by up to seven times.  According to the FMCSA most states have adopted the guidelines of 391.41 (b)(5) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) and have determined that sleep apnea is disqualifying and have the jurisdiction to suspend that driver’s CDL.

Treatments for OSA include surgery and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).  The successfully treated driver may be considered for certification following the recommended waiting period. You should not certify the driver with suspected or untreated sleep apnea until etiology is confirmed and treatment has been shown to be stable, safe, and adequate/effective.

 See:  FMCSA Guidance/Advisory criteria for The Treatment Of Chronic Sleep Disorders

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About Randolph Rosarion M.D.

Board Certified physician in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Certified National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) Certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) USCIS designated Civil Surgeon Certified Examiner of Divers (Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society) FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

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