Aeroflow Responds to Senator Chuck Schumer’s Comments on Sleep Apnea Testing Rule

Aeroflow Healthcare, a nationwide DME (Durable Medical Equipment) provider, and its Industrial Division, today announced their support of Senator Chuck Schumer’s comments regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s withdrawal of support for a sleep apnea testing requirement. To further validate the Senator’s position, Aeroflow Industrial Manager Michael Trufant affirmed Schumer’s comments in the following statement:

“Senator Schumer is spot-on about how easy the conclusion should be to reinstate the rulemaking process when looking at the facts about sleep apnea. This is a clear and present danger on our roads, rails and highways. Our traveling public should not be exposed to danger on their commutes. So far, the arguments made against obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) testing and treatment for rail and truck drivers have focused exclusively on the cost of testing and treatment, not on safety. The cost is minimal. The safety imperative is pressing. The National Transportation Safety Board has consistently called for it. This is an opportunity to ensure public safety, and without this requirement, we are instead choosing to neglect it.”

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious condition that is difficult to detect, but treatment is highly effective. Included below are some statistics and facts regarding the threat that undetected OSA may pose:

  • Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year in the United States.
  • According to the University of California Sassani et Al study on the impact of untreated sleep apnea on the trucking industry, the cost of motor vehicle crashes due to sleep apnea is $15.9 billion per year.
  • Per this same study, testing and treating all truck drivers suffering from OSA would reduce collision costs by $11.8 billion and save 980 lives per year.
  • Programs started early will more than pay for themselves. According to studies, every dollar spent on treating sleep apnea saves $3.49 in collision claims; treating sleep apnea saves $6,000 per driver per year in medical claims and improves driver retention by 55 percent.
  • Drivers with untreated sleep apnea are five times more likely to crash.
  • Undiagnosed sleep apnea is estimated to be present in nearly one in every three OTR (Over the Road) truck drivers….

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