News Wire: FRA, trucking regulator, withdraw sleep apnea rules

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 8:41 AM

WASHINGTON — Two transportation agencies are withdrawing a proposed rule that would have been the first step in regulations that could lead to mandatory treatment of obstructive sleep apnea for railroad operating personnel and truck drivers. T...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/08/07-fra-sleep-apnea

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 9:05 AM

Sounds like a cave in.  The analogy about watermelons is absurd.  Although sleep apnea is not the only cause of "fatigue, fatigue, fatigue" it is a major one, along with archaic HOS rules. If it is such a small factor as was stated, let's have a small but careful randomized survey of railroad engineers and truck drivers, initially screening for BMI and waist size.  Those exceeding a cut off could then be put in sleep studies to confirm sleep apnea or not.  If the study's results were clinically significant, a mandatory screening and treatment program should be put in place. 


Transportation is the #1 job field for obesity in US

Once again, greed and political sloganeering prevail over safety and common sense.

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Posted by zardoz on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 9:57 PM

schlimm

Sounds like a cave in.  The analogy about watermelons is absurd.  Although sleep apnea is not the only cause of "fatigue, fatigue, fatigue" it is a major one, along with archaic HOS rules. If it is such a small factor as was stated, let's have a small but careful randomized survey of railroad engineers and truck drivers, initially screening for BMI and waist size.  Those exceeding a cut off could then be put in sleep studies to confirm sleep apnea or not.  If the study's results were clinically significant, a mandatory screening and treatment program should be put in place. 


Transportation is the #1 job field for obesity in US

Once again, greed and political sloganeering prevail over safety and common sense.

 

Back in the late '90s I was working as "Traffic Manager" for a manufacturing company. As such, I was in daily face-to-face contact with every driver that backed in to our dock.

One driver, who worked for a Milwaukee-based company that did daily business with us, was about 6'7" tall and weighed all of about 175#, and was skinny as a 'rail'. One day a different driver showed up. I asked him where Dave (regular driver) was; he replied that Dave had died the night before from Sleep Apnea.

The news sure made a believer out of me. The next day I made an appointment with a sleep doctor, and soon I was a proud owner of my very own CPAP machine, and I have used it every day since. That was in 1999.

So it's not just us A-File types that have to worry about the condition. Anybody who snores is at risk.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:05 PM

zardoz
The news sure made a believer out of me. The next day I made an appointment with a sleep doctor, and soon I was a proud owner of my very own CPAP machine, and I have used it every day since. That was in 1999. So it's not just us A-File types that have to worry about the condition. Anybody who snores is at risk.

Very true.  I was just suggesting a cheaper method for screening, since the obese (especially around the belly) are more at risk.  But any of us could have this condition and not know it.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

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