Home Press Releases American College of Chest Physicians Responds to DOT Withdrawal of Sleep Apnea Screening

American College of Chest Physicians Responds to DOT Withdrawal of Sleep Apnea Screening

GLENVIEW, IL (August 25, 2017) – The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) is disappointed in the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) decision to abandon formal rulemaking for management of sleep apnea in commercial drivers and train engineers. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with decreased alertness, decreased reaction time, and increased risk for motor vehicle crash. The rulemaking could have optimized safety and prevented potentially fatal accidents.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can have many effects on an individual’s health and well-being. Because an individual with OSA wakes up frequently during the night, they often complain of poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Being deprived of normal amounts of sleep due to OSA will result in many daytime symptoms in addition to sleepiness—impaired alertness, poor concentration, impaired memory, and mood instability. OSA is also associated with high blood pressure, stroke, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac rhythm disturbances, and difficulty controlling blood sugar levels.

We urge the Department of Transportation to reconsider its decision and move forward with the rule-making process.

About the American College of Chest Physicians® 
The American College of CHEST Physicians (CHEST) is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit chestnet.org.