Sleep Apnea Program for Canadian Truck Drivers Instituted
OSA Canada Inc. and Canadian Trucking Alliance have initiated a pilot project for the delivery of a full scale sleep apnea program targeted at commercial truck drivers. The truck fleets that are based in Canada will be visited by OSA Canada in order for them to conduct testing, screening and diagnosis of truck drivers for the sleep disorder. Those found with sleep apnea will be trained to use the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine while they sleep. OSA Canada will conduct its sleep apnea screenings during the course of a 72 hour period at each terminal that is visited.
Ongoing monitoring for the proper utilization of the CPAP equipment will also be made by OSA Canada. This will ensure that the machines are being properly utilized for the treatment of sleep apnea. Companies will then be assured that the CPAP equipment is used properly and that the negative effects of sleep apnea are averted. In fact, OSA Canada will even continue the treatment of sleep apnea by charging trucking companies a monthly fee for their legal and medical services.
Mark Sylvia, president, OSA Canada, says that this is a turnkey remedy for companies whose drivers are tackling issues with sleep apnea. Companies will be unburden from looking after their drivers and the required remedies that sleep apnea needs. He also said that CPAP equipment will be replaced if they breakdown as well.
OSA Canada is also in partnership with Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics LLC to monitor and delivery the therapy needs of drivers under the program. PPD has been involved in screening 40,000 drivers. They have also diagnosed 3,000 drivers who are sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea.
This year, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board have already approved measures relating to sleep apnea in the trucking industry. All drivers with a body mass index of higher than 35 are required to be tested for sleep apnea.
For more than 2 years now, CTA has linked up with other agencies and companies to establish a sleep apnea program for implementation in the United States. One of the partners is Group Health. This is in anticipation of regulatory requirements for US truck fleets.
David Bradley, CTA Chief Executive Officer, explains that the FMCSA has made great steps in the possible regulation of treatment and screening for truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea. Although it may take some time for full compliance by the Canadian fleet owners, CTA has assisted and the creation of the OSA Canada is a solution for monitoring the program.
OSA Canada also conducts on road efficiency performance tests on drivers who are undergoing the sleep apnea treatment program. They also provide data on driver retention and cost benefits if the sleep apnea program is implemented.
If you are a truck driver who may suffer from sleep apnea, please contact a sleep specialist in your area. Sleep apnea can cause severe problems if left untreated and truck drivers with sleep disorders can pose risks for other drivers.