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    Sleep is Essential for Good Health

    My name is Andrea Thompson, nurse practitioner at Macon Occupational Medicine (MOM). Before I share my topic, I want you to know how much we appreciate you for trusting us with your employees and their occupational healthcare. Because of the trust you have in us, I felt it was important to make you aware of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines related to sleep apnea.

    I perform over 200 DOT physicals each month and a large percentage of my patients are receiving clearance letters related to their sleep habits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not have requirements in place that mandate a commercial driver to complete a sleep test during a DOT exam; however, the FMCSA does have a regulation called the Pulmonary Standard that grants a medical examiner the discretion to determine whether testing for a respiratory disorder like sleep apnea is necessary for a driver to be medically certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

    Here are some of the sleep apnea risk factors for commercial drivers:

    • Age
    • Body Mass Index (BMI)
    • Neck size
    • Medical conditions: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke
    • Smoking habits
    • Gender

    If any of your drivers have some of the above risk factors, they may need a sleep study. If they currently have sleep apnea, please have them bring a copy of their CPAP usage report showing 90 days of usage at least 70% of the time, 5-7 days per week. This will reduce the chance of your driver receiving a clearance letter related to their sleeping habits. We understand the health of your business may depend on us and we take that seriously, this is why we want you to be knowledgeable about his matter.

    If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Jonathan Pitts at (478) 751-2930 or jpitts@maconoccmedicine.org. We will schedule a time to address any questions you have related to sleep apnea or any occupational healthcare items.

    Again, thank you for choosing MOM!

    Andrea Thompson, FNP-BC

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