A news story from the BBC mentioned today that a truck driver has been acquitted of killing the driver of another vehicle because the truck driver had been diagnosed with sleep apnea. In the aftermath of the trial, the victim’s father is calling for Great Britain to test all truckers for sleep apnea.

This is an understandable reaction. And the concept of testing is not without merit. In fact, we certainly support the testing of over the road truckers, bus drivers, pilots, air traffic controllers … anyone, in fact, who demonstrates certain risk factors of sleep apnea.

That’s important. “Blanket” testing of everybody, as some have called for, is not reasonable. But it certainly is reasonable to find a way to identify people who are at risk and, if their employment requires them to have the safety of others in their hands, get them tested for sleep apnea.

Certain factors that should be considered collectively are body mass index, neck circumference measurement, and signs of poor sleep … excessive daytime tiredness, frequent headaches, tendency to doze off even briefly at inappropriate times.

What do you think?

Advertisements