ATS Publishes Clinical Practice Guidelines on Sleep Apnea and Driving: Page 2 of 2

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June 5, 2013

  • suspected or confirmed OSA who have been deemed high-risk drivers, stimulant medications for the sole purpose of reducing driving risk are not recommended.
  • Opportunities to improve clinical practice include the following:
    • Clinicians should develop a practice-based plan to inform patients and their families about drowsy driving and other risks of excessive sleepiness, as well as behavioral methods that may reduce those risks.
    • Clinicians should routinely inquire in patients suspected with OSA about non-OSA causes of excessive daytime sleepiness, co-morbid neurocognitive impairments, and diminished physical skills, which may additively contribute to crash risk and affect the efficacy of sleep apnea treatment.
    • Clinicians should familiarize themselves with local and state statutes or regulations regarding the compulsory reporting of high-risk drivers with OSA.

"Addressing the issue of drowsy driving requires the combined effort of physicians, patients, and policy makers," said Dr. Strohl. "The assessment for sleepiness before and with treatment of OSA, as outlined in these new guidelines, is an essential part of these joint efforts."