Forum · Employment related impacts of sleep apnea.

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[-] truckerdad57 +0 points · over 2 years ago

I got this request from a GOOD occ med specialist dealing with sleep apnea in trucking.

"Do you know of source of even anecdotal data about the impact that a diagnosis of OSA has on the ability of a commercial driver to be employed, accomodated, and retained in commercial driving? I have a really unusual work-related OSA case in a driver (d/t trauma) and the only really systematic guide I have to impairment estimates in OSA is the rather odd DOD Blue Book."

In working with him there is NO good research or information on the topic for any profession. There is an active public policy debate about the amount of disability that is appropriate for veterans. The current 50% disability rating for sleep apnea is under fire, Example military pilots retiring with sleep apnea get a 50% disability rating. Yet, they can immediately get a FAA flight physical and rating as a commercial pilot.

Myapnea.org might be a source to collect data on this topic to provide hard data in a current public policy debate.

I have dealt with loss of performance bonuses for idling my truck to power my cpap. This also resulted in loss of pay raises, promotion issues, and new truck assignment issues. While anecdotal my personal experience is that there is a economic impact to a diagnosis of sleep apnea in trucking.

From experience as a moderator on the ASAA forums I had fielded questions about accommodations for OSA in other professions but due to the nature of the ASAA forums using them to accumulate data on a questions was not possible.

This might be another possible research topic.

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[-] SusanR +0 points · over 2 years ago

Truckerdad,

You raise some interesting topics. As you know, there is some ongoing research on the best ways to screen truck drivers for sleep apnea. One large trucking company showed that once they implemented screening and treatment for sleep apnea, the number of crashes fell significantly. However, I am unaware of research addressing how to best accommodate patients with sleep apnea.

Here is one nice overview of the general area, but it does not address your specific concern://www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/10/sleep-apnea-trucking-now/

You bring up the important issue of how the truck industry can support drivers who want to be compliant. They should be rewarding you for your commitment to wearing CPAP, not punish you. This issue certainly needs to be addressed! I have colleagues working in this area and will highlight this to them. MyApnea may help us solicit more stories and directions to pursue. Many thanks for this post!

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