Unfortunately, most cases of sleep apnea remain undetected. It is estimated that only 15% of adults with sleep apnea have been diagnosed. Common factors associated with this condition include obesity, male gender, increasing age, a large neck, and poor quality sleep. Frequently, co-existing medical conditions are seen with and often made worse by untreated sleep apnea. Examples include high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Commercial drivers who have sleep apnea are reluctant to report it. The reality is that truck drivers are either unaware of the symptoms, or they conceal or deny the fact that they are experiencing drive-time drowsiness. Additionally, there other perceived negatives associated with treatment – screening for the disorder can be imprecise, testing and treatment is perceived as too expensive, and diagnosis often complicates DOT certification.
PPD is working to change those perceptions. We are partnering with major long-haul truckload carriers in identifying and treating their drivers with sleep apnea. We have developed an effective sleep apnea program that includes the first ever fleet-wide screening of drivers for sleep apnea. Our Somni-Sage ® encrypted, HIPAA compliant web-based questionnaire is the first and only one of its kind specifically developed from data collected from commercial truck drivers. It has a very high predictive rate in identifying which drivers in your fleet are most likely to have sleep apnea and has been awarded a U.S. Patent in recognition of its unique utility in this regard.
Carriers can choose to screen new hires, their existing fleet or begin with a regional pilot. Somni-Sage results can be coupled with a driver’s pending DOT exam with all health information protected between PPD, the driver and DOT examiner. PPD can also work with the carrier caring for ONLY those drivers who have been referred by DOT examiners for testing. The choice is yours.
To learn more contact PPD here.