Telesleep is a Breath of Fresh Air
Houston, TX - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas is using a new Telehealth technology called ‘Telesleep’ to treat Veterans in rural areas who are suffering from sleep-related breathing disorders.
“Telesleep currently provides Veterans at seven of our community outpatient clinics with faster diagnosis and treatment options for sleep-related breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea,” explained Adam Walmus, director of the medical center. “It’s one more way we’re delivering the right care to our Veterans at the right place, at the right time.”
“With sleep apnea, breathing stops or becomes very shallow,” said Tricia Harris, a nurse at the Houston VA. “This type of event may happen hundreds of times each night. It reduces oxygen in your blood and causes arousal from sleep. The low oxygen is the main reason for other medical problems like heart disease.”
Harris noted that only home sleep testing or a study conducted in a sleep laboratory can show definitively that sleep apnea is present and determine its severity.
“For many Veterans living in rural areas, participating in a sleep laboratory might not be practical,” the nurse said. “For these Veterans, home sleep testing is often the best way to go.”
St. Hilaire Saint Firmin, a respiratory therapist at the Houston VA, said Veterans who are identified by their primary care physicians as candidates for a sleep study are scheduled for a group diagnostic session at their nearest VA clinic. Continue>
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