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FMCSA advisers back changes regarding sleep apnea

Two advisory panels for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at a joint meeting endorsed recommendations regarding the screening of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). At a meeting on Oct. 25, the Medical Review Board and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee approved substantially all of MRB's draft recommendations, which were floated in August.

Under the MRB recommendations, a driver would be screened for OSA if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or had been involved in a sleep-related motor vehicle crash. In addition, a driver would be screened if he or she has a BMI of 33 or higher and meets three of the following conditions:

  • Age 42 or older

  • Male or postmenopausal female

  • Neck size greater than 17 (male) or 15.5 (female)

  • Hypertension

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • History of stroke, coronary artery disease, or arrhythmias

  • Micrognathia or retrognathia

  • Loud snoring

  • Witnessed apneas

  • Small airway

  • Untreated hypothyroidism

Under the approved recommendations, CMV drivers could continue to operate if they are being “treated effectively.”

FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration are jointly developing regulations on moderate-to-severe OSA and have taken public comment through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

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