Drivers who come in to my office for a DOT physical exam often ask: “Why do I need a sleep study? DOT doesn’t require it.”
So here is the information a driver needs to know regarding if you need a sleep study or not:
The FMCSA states that DOT medical examiners should follow “best practice” guidelines when evaluating a driver for sleep apnea and ordering a sleep study. Here are the “best practice” guidelines that are recommended:
A driver with symptoms:
If the driver has one of the following 4 symptoms it is recommended that driver be tested for sleep apnea:
- Driver complains of consistent daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
- Driver has been involved in a sleep-related accident.
- Driver states that someone has observed the driver stop breathing while sleeping.
- The driver reports that he snores loudly (snoring is heard thru a wall or door).
A driver without symptoms:
If the driver has none of the above symptoms but they have multiple risk factors for sleep apnea, it is recommended that the driver be tested for sleep apnea. Here is a list of those risk factors:
- BMI of 33 or greater.
- Neck size of 17” or greater for a male.
- Neck Size of 16” or greater for a female.
- Driver has one or more of the following disease:
- Driver has High Blood Pressure
- Driver has Diabetes
- Driver has Heart Disease
- Driver has Hypothyroidism
- Driver has history of Stroke
- Male driver over the age of 50.
- Female driver post-menopausal.
- Driver has a Mallampati Score of 3 or 4.
Best practice recommendations for drivers that have had a prior sleep study:
A second sleep study is recommended if the driver has developed additional risk factors since the first study was done, or the driver has had a 10% increase in weight.
As always I am here to help and I truly care about the safety and wellbeing of every driver. The fact is, most health problems will not prevent you from passing a DOT physical, as long as you are treating the health problem. If you have any questions or concerns about any health issue please call me (314-739-7979) and I will take the time to talk to you on the phone, even if you are not coming to my office for your physical.
Dr. Knuuttila, Knuuttila Chiropractic
DOT Physical Exams in Bridgeton, Missouri
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