February 16, 2012

Children with OSA Benefit from CPAP

This was a most timely article as it fit with an email question I received from someone discovering a blog of mine on obstructive sleep apnea surgery. The parent was wondering about why the two doctors he had taken his child to were so insistent on doing surgery. The blog was this one and he was thinking there could be more about this since October 2010. I also gave him this blog from February 2011.

After replying to the email with this article, he emailed me back asking for my phone number. I supplied it and his wife called shortly after. I supplied her with the sites I had and a listing of doctors that handled sleep apnea in their area. She discovered that the nearest sleep study lab was about 60 miles from them, but she has a sister living in the town so that was a huge plus as she would have a place to spend the night.

Both parents had read my blogs and were wondering why the doctors wanting to do the surgery had not informed them about the side effects and problems that could result. We discussed their medical insurance and I suggested they should call there for doctors and what equipment would be covered. I had given them three sleep apnea equipment sites so they could familiarize themselves with some of their options.

Two hours later, I received another phone call saying that two of the different types of equipment would be covered and she was to receive a schedule of how often replacement parts could be obtained through the policy. She found out that the doctor she was now going to call for an appointment was indicated by the medical insurance and they encouraged her to make an appointment.

Today, February 15, I received a call saying that at first it was going to be about two weeks before their appointment. Then they had received a call from the doctor this morning asking them to be there by 3:00 PM for an appointment and if a sleep lab was needed, they had a cancellation for this evening and their son would be using this appointment. The mother said the doctor asked her many questions, but her conversations with me had given her the knowledge to answer them.

She and her husband had taken time last night to count the number of apneas at two different times that their son had for a half hour period. She had counted 39 apneas when she observed her son and her husband counted 44 apneas during his time. She said the doctor was very surprised they had done this, but said this helped him know that the sleep study lab was needed. The doctor did ask her to inform the insurance company that he would be participating in the sleep study lab tonight and have the insurance company call him if they had any questions.

The husband just called me and stated that the doctor had done an evaluation and agreed that the sleep study lab was needed. The doctor had discussed with his wife and son what would happen during the study, and then clearly stated that until after the sleep study lab results were available, he could not make any recommendations. He did list the options which included surgery, but that until he knew that CPAP (continuous positive air pressure), if needed, did not work, he would prefer leaving surgery as a last resort. The father also stated that exercise was also part of the treatment options to have their son lose weight to near normal for his body structure.

I hope that I will hear what the results are, the course of action prescribed, and be able to do a follow-up blog. Here is a second article about the same study, which I had given the parents.

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