Guilty until proven innocent: Answering key sleep-apnea questions

Driver Scott LeVan of Watsontown, Pa., recently went to the Concentra clinic in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., for his regular U.S. Department of sleep-apenaaTransportation-required physical to renew his medical certification.

“I passed everything,” LeVan said. But the examiner, citing LeVan’s body mass index (BMI) measurement over 32 and a history of high blood pressure, said: “I’m going to hold your certification.”

The issue was the possibility that LeVan had sleep apnea. It’s a disqualifying condition under the medical rules if reaching a severity that affects daytime sleepiness and is left untreated. Nothing new there, but the examiner didn’t issue a conditional certification for LeVan so that he at least could continue working while it was determined via an in-lab sleep study whether he suffered from the condition or not.

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