Sleep Apnea Surgical Treatment in a Truck Driver:Dr.K.O.Paulose FRCS DLO
Sleepiness at the wheel, or drowsy driving, is said to be the cause of about 20% of road accidents on major highways where accidents happen at high speed and no signs of any avoidance – e.g. braking – being taken, leaving no road marks of braking . In fact it’s the cause of more road deaths than alcohol. Patients with sleep apnea (abnormal snorers) exhibit poorer performance than control subjects on several types of driving simulators.
Successful treatment of sleep apnea improves performance while driving and decreases reported automobile crashes. The doctor experienced in Sleep Surgery is expected to : Diagnose sleep apnea ,assess the patient’s risk for motor vehicle accidents,inform the patient of these risks and treat the patient effectively.
Once a patient has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the doctor must warn the patient of the potential risk of driving a vehicle while sleepy. All high-risk patients must be warned of the risk of driving until adequate therapy is instituted.
If a patient chooses to operate an motor vehicle with knowledge that he or she frequently falls asleep while driving or that he or she suffers from a condition that makes it dangerous to drive, the individual’s actions may be considered negligent and may lead to civil or criminal liability in the event that someone is injured or killed.
40 year old truck driver having obstructive sleep apnea who had six road traffic accidents minor and major was identified by his family.He is undergoing Sleep Surgery in Jubilee Hospital,Trivandrum, India.