Last month, we reported that the FMCSA proposed guidelines to regulate mandatory obstructive sleep apnea testing for those who have a body mass index of 35 or more.
On Friday, April 20, 2012, the FMCSA released a report announcing that the agency proposed to adopt the recommendations of 2 advisory panels for tougher sleep apnea guidelines.
However, in a report released later in the day, the FMCSA stated it was withdrawing the proposed recommendation saying, “The agency is still in the process of carefully reviewing the recommendations submitted by the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board. The initial publication was a clerical error. We anticipate requesting public comments on the recommendations later this year.”
According to Harvard Medical School Professor Charles Czeisler, the crash risk for a person with sleep apnea is 242% higher than a person without it.
It is estimated that 30-40% of truckers have sleep apnea. The condition can be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.
The symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Waking up with a very sore and/or dry throat
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia