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Sleep Apnea-Prone Truck Drivers Must Explore Treatment Options
Date:9/24/2013

Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) September 24, 2013

Sleep apnea is a very real threat along the nation’s highways. In a bid to respond to the fatigued driving situation the condition can create, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has long been attempting to put through regulatory guidance focused on mandating at-risk truckers to be tested and treated for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Now, two members of the House have introduced a bill that could potentially lengthen the time it takes for the FMCSA recommendations to go through. These lawmakers, and the trucking industry as a whole, are concerned that only offering guidance (as opposed to a formal rule with the imprimatur of law) would leave fleets susceptible to liability.

What the new bill seeks to ensure, as described by an Occupational Health & Safety article from September 14 called "Trucking Groups Back Sleep Apnea Testing," is that actual regulations would take the place of guidance related to sleep apnea testing. To do that, the FMCSA would have to go through the formal rule-making process, which allows the administration to garner the input of industry officials and requires a cost-benefit analysis to be carried out before any rules could be set (this has been deemed essential by the trucking industry, which estimates a cost of $1 billion for the testing).

The physicians at Sleep Apnea Surgicure understand the prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea among all drivers and thus worry about this proposed bill’s potential to delay measures designed to identify and correct the condition. Stephen D. Ochs, M.D., chief medical director of Sleep Apnea Surgicure, hopes this doesn’t mean at-risk commercial drivers will delay medical s
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