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ATS publishes clinical practice guidelines on sleep apnea and driving
Date:5/31/2013

The American Thoracic Society has released new clinical practice guidelines on sleep apnea, sleepiness, and driving risk on non-commercial drivers.

The new guidelines, which are an update of a 1994 ATS statement on this topic, appear in the June 1, 2013 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Up to 20 percent of crashes that occur on monotonous roads can be attributed to sleepiness, and the most common medical cause of excessive daytime sleepiness is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)," said Kingman P. Strohl, MD, program director, sleep medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, director of the Center for Sleep Disorders Research at Case Western Reserve University and chair of the committee that drafted the guidelines. "With these new guidelines, we aimed to provide healthcare practitioners with a framework for the assessment and management of sleepy driving in the evaluation of OSA."

The guidelines' recommendations include the following:

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