Sleep problem causes death from road accidents, diseases —Experts

From left, Sarah Igbokwe, Chairman, Medical Adviser Committee, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Dr Victor Akinmoladun; President, Premier Respiratory and Critical Care, Donell Agard; Chief Medical Director, UCH, Ibadan, Professor Temitope Alonge; Dr Olumide Sogaolu and others at the hospital, recently,

EVEN as University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan partners with Premiers Respiratory and Critical Care (PRCC) to start diagnosis and treatment of sleep problems, the consensus of experts was that sleep problems can cause early death from road traffic and diseases like hypertension.

Dr Olumide Sogaolu, a consultant chest expert, stated that when people do not sleep well, it affects all body systems, adding that many long-distance drivers are involved in road accidents due to excessive sleepiness during the day and as such doze off when they are driving.

According to him, in some instances, people that have difficulty controlling their blood pressure and sugar despite medications, or sleep off during a meeting early in the day or while watching the televisions may also have a sleep problem.

While noting that sleep problems have diverse ramifications, Dr Sogaolu stated that not everyone that snores has a sleep problem medically termed sleep apnea.

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According to him, snoring also a sign of sleep apnea is likely to be experienced by people that are overweight or obese, those that wear a size 17 collar shirt or that experience daytime sleepiness that affect their work and daily activities.

President PRCC, Donell Agard said that the partnership will be providing respiratory and critical care services to impact patients, including the diagnosing for sleep apnea,

Agard, who remarked that snoring, was one of the signs of sleep apnea, adding often “it is the wives that helps with its diagnosis because most of the time, it affects the men.”

Although sleep apnea affects a lot of people, including children and could go undiagnosed into adulthood, he assured that the condition is treatable.

Mr Lavan Arulnayagam, PRCC’s clinical director, stated that many developed countries take sleep problem seriously given its implication on safety.

He declared that licences of drivers with sleep apnea that does not comply with therapy are withdrawn just as attention is also paid to ensure sleep apnea does not complicate traumatic surgeries.

Arulnayagam, who said that increasingly more children and teenagers are being diagnosed with sleep apnea in countries like Canada, stated that sleep apnea also runs in families and is influenced by lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption and smoking.

UCH’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Temitope Alonge, said the service was an important component of total care the hospital is set to provide considering the implications of poor sleep on body systems and functions.

Alonge encouraged people that take coffee and other stimulants in the morning to remain alert to have a sleep study done.

“If you cannot keep awake to run a meeting and you have to depend on coffee, then there is a problem somewhere.” he declared.

Professor Alonge, who said the partnership will support training of its staffers in respiratory and critical services, declared “we have a lot of patients who actually require this kind of service. We believe it is going to be of tremendous help to a lot of our patients.”

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