Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center Opens Sleep Disorder Laboratory
March 15, 2012
For Immediate Release:
Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center announces the opening on March 12 of a new Sleep Lab for the diagnosis and treatment of potentially serious sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, excessive snoring, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder.
“Recognizing and treating some sleep disorders in the early stages may prevent more serious cardiovascular and neurological problems, which can be very expensive to treat,” stated Tim Tobin, FACHE, President/CEO of Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. “We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Marc Raphaelson, who is board certified in Neurology and in Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in Sleep Disorders Medicine by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, serving as the medical director for our Sleep Lab, which will give us the opportunity to improve patient access and expand our preventative commitment to include sleep diagnostics.”
“Sleep disorders affect one out of every four individuals,” stated Dr. Raphaelson. “Left untreated, many serious conditions such as sleep apnea, may have life threatening consequences due to the toll taken on the cardiovascular and neurological systems.” Research indicates that approximately 4-6% of the population suffers from sleep apnea, the most prevalent of all sleep disorders. Dr. Raphaelson explained that the profile of the typical apnea patient is an overweight, middle-aged adult, between the ages of 35 and 55, who snores loudly, complains of being tired during the day and usually has a 17 1/2” neck size or greater.
Those with sleep apnea will usually have the following symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness; stentorian (loud) snoring; gasping or choking awakenings; awakenings for uncertain reasons; restless sleep; non-refreshing sleep; poor memory; poor intellectual function; irritability; personality changes; morning headaches; and confusion. Bed partners and house mates will frequently describe loud snoring with intermittent silent periods terminated by loud, or resuscitive snorting. Those with the condition may be unaware of their sleep pattern, but are aware that they wake up each day unrefreshed and, many times, irritable.
Patients who suspect they may have a sleep disorder should bring it to the attention of their family physician. If a sleep study is needed, the physician or the patient with a referral from their physician, will schedule the study by calling 800-264-1487.
The overnight sleep studies are conducted by highly trained sleep technologists while patients enjoy the comfort of private sleep rooms. Set-up involves the placement of various electrodes on the surface of the patient’s scalp, face, chest, and lower leg to monitor brain waves, eye movements, respiration, heart rate and muscle activity. There are no injections, drugs, or x-rays associated with this procedure -- and no pain associated with the placing or wearing of electrodes. A second night at the Sleep Lab may be required for patients diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Treatments can range from airway pressure appliances, medication, lifestyle changes, weight loss, ENT surgery and laser therapy, dental appliances, light therapy, and internal body clock adjustments. The treatment or treatments recommended depend upon the type of sleep disorder diagnosed.
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