A LOT of drivers may fall in these early recommendations for a Sleep Apnea Test
Last week FMCSA’s Medical Review Board outlined recommendations they hope to require truckers to be screened for sleep apnea. Based on these preliminary recommendations, which FMCSA has no legal requirement to adopt any of the suggestions but likely lean on them when developing a sleep apnea rule, many truckers fall into the categories needed to be recommended for sleep apnea test.
The board based its recommendations on multiple public meetings held this year, in which board members heard testimony from truckers and industry advocacy groups, along with expert testimony from doctors.
The meetings and the formal questionnaire were not only initiated to determine what a sleep apnea rule may look like, but to determine if a rule was needed at all.
Recommendations encourages FMCSA to require a trucker screened for sleep apnea if:
- (1) has a body mass index greater than 40, OR
- (2) has a body mass index greater than 33 and meets three of the following:
- age > 42,
- is male,
- is a postmenopausal female,
- has diabetes,
- has high blood pressure,
- has neck size > 17in(males) or 15.5in(females),
- has history of heart disease,
- snores loudly,
- has witnessed apneas,
- has small airway,
- has untreated hypothyroidism or has micrognathia or retrognathia.
Based on BMI charts, 6’ person needs to weigh (1) 300lbs or (2) 250lbs, a 5’9” person needs to weigh (1) 270lbs or (2) 230lbs. Do you fall into these categories?
Among other preliminary recommendations outlined by the board this week is a provision to limit truckers who’ve received a sleep apnea diagnosis to a yearly medical certification, even if the diagnosis was for mild apnea.
This means truckers with any type of apnea diagnosis would need to be recertified at least annually, if not more often, rather than the standard every-other-year certification.
Discussed treatment options in the board’s preliminary report include (1) use of PAP machine or other oral appliance, (2) bariatric surgery, (3) oropharyngeal surgery or facial bone surgery and (4) tracheostomy.