Chilton Medical Center - ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM
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Study Proves Nearly Half of Police Officers are Sleep Deprived Putting Themselves and Others at Risk
03/14/2012

A recent study involving nearly 5,000 police officers showed that 40.4 percent of them have a sleep disorder, putting themselves and citizens in danger through administrative errors, loss of temper and falling asleep behind the wheel.

Out of the 4,957 police officers studied in the U.S. and Canada, obstructive sleep apnea was the most commonly identified issue, affecting 33.6 percent of the participants. Obstructive sleep apnea is a deadly disorder in which an individual experiences pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping.

The study, which was conducted by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital, was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA 2011;306:2567-78).

“One of the scariest elements of this study was that many of the police officers who tested positive for sleep disorders were originally undiagnosed,” said John Penek, MD, FCCP, board certified in Sleep Medicine and Medical Director of the Sleep Health Institute at Chilton Hospital. “Aside from putting citizens in danger, police officers with obstructive sleep apnea have an increased risk for many cardiovascular diseases including heart attack and stroke. It can even be deadly if not taken care of in time. However, treatment is painless and proven highly effective.”

Chilton Hospital’s Sleep Health Institute is offering Free Sleep Heath Screenings as a first step to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea.

There are seven screenings scheduled for the next three months:

  • Monday, April 9 (rescheduled from Monday, April 2)
  • Wednesday, April 18 (rescheduled from Monday, April 16)
  • Wednesday, May 2
  • Wednesday, May 16
  • Wednesday, May 30
  • Monday, June 11
  • Monday, June 25

The Free Sleep Health Screenings feature one-on-one visits with a Chilton sleep professional for individualized assessment. The personalized nature of the screenings identifies if attendees are at a risk for sleep disorder and determines if further evaluations are needed with sleep specialists. The screenings are held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Chilton Health Network, 242 West Parkway, Pompton Plains (about 1.5 miles from the hospital). For more information, call (973) 831-5351. Click here to register

Chilton Hospital is a fully accredited, 260-bed, acute-care, community hospital. It is a four-time recipient of the HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Award in Stroke, and Five-Star Rated for Stroke Care, the highest possible, for six years in a row. It is also Five-Star Rated for Joint Replacement and Total Knee Replacement for 2012. Chilton’s many services include minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, a state-of-the-art Emergency Department, a Pain Management center, the Sleep Health Institute, the Comprehensive Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Center, the Chilton Cancer Center, the Mother/Baby Center, an American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program and a weight loss surgery program. Chilton has recently embarked on a $24 million modernization project, which includes the Cardiovascular Interventional Lab, the Comprehensive Breast Center and the Total Joint Center. The hospital is located at 97 West Parkway in Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. For more information about Chilton's facilities and services, or to find a doctor by name, specialty, or location, please visit www.chiltonhealth.org or call 1-888-CHILTON.

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