March 12, 2012
A Follow-up on Children with OSA Benefit from CPAP
It is a good feeling when you are asked for information about something, in this case obstructive sleep apnea. I had written about this here. Since this happened, the family and I have exchanged several emails about the progress of their son and how he is doing with his VPAP machine. The parents are happy that no surgery was required and that I have been able to direct them to more web sites about sleep apnea.
In the three weeks their son has been using the VPAP, they have added the mask liners (the son has both the nasal mask and a full-face mask) and report that this has helped dramatically reduce the air leaks and he is using the VPAP every night now. The father reports that the entire family now exercises and the son has lost five pounds in the three weeks since starting. With the snow, they just add snowshoes and keep moving.
I was told that the number of apneas during the sleep study had varied from 76 to 92 apneas per hour. The doctor did find a way to work them in the next day because of the distance for travel. This has to be a doctor with much kindness in his heart. The mother reported that the doctor took his time to explain the two masks to them and the fitting of the masks. When asked about the mask liners, the doctor was unfamiliar with them, but took his time to go to the web site and after research, offered a prescription if they needed it.
Both parents have expressed their happiness that surgery is the last option the doctor wants to consider. They did obtain the VPAP machine and masks from a local supplier approved by their insurance. The doctor had also issued a prescription for a second disk for them to use and mail him the first disk to read the results for the first 30 days. Then he will mail it back to them for them to use when they mail the second disk for reading the next 30 days.
I told them this was normal and the doctor would be looking for the amount of time on a daily basis that the machine was being used and if there happened to be sleep problems. In addition, the insurance company would receive a report from the doctor about the results. If problems showed up, this could indicate a need to adjust the pressure and may require a second visit to the doctor. If the results show normal or near normal, the disk mailing might stop or happen at an infrequent interval, just to monitor the results.
The son even reported that his sister likes to tease him about looking like an alien with his mask on. He said he told her he does not care as he is getting a good night's sleep every night and feels so much better. He also said his grades are improving and he is more alert in school.
We do continue to communicate about questions they have and questions they should ask their doctor or equipment supplier. They are happily surprised about the support they have received from their medical insurance and this is a big plus. Their insurance had questioned both the nasal and full-face mask, but when the doctor explained his reasons, the insurance company did allow both.
This blog is the first of four blogs about sleep apnea this week.