2003 News Stories

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Almost half of all people snore some of the time. But all too often, snoring can be a sign of a life threatening condition. The Queen's Medical Center's Sleep Lab is the place to come for answers about getting a good night's sleep. The demand for sleep studies has increased. As a result, Queen's will open a new, larger Sleep Lab in May 2003 to accommodate up to four patients a night, six nights a week.

The most serious sleep disorder is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA is a life threatening, life altering condition that causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep cycle. Snoring can be a symptom of this condition.

After a night of monitoring and diagnosis at Queen's Sleep Lab, a patient can usually be helped almost immediately. Patients are fitted for a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) nasal mask that is put in place halfway through a nightlong monitoring session.

"People often don't want to wear the mask," says Linda Castro, a polysomnographic technologist, or sleep technologist for short, "but patients are really appreciative later, and some feel rested for the first time ever."

New, all-digital, state-of-the-art equipment allows sleep technologists to view a sleeping patient while monitor brain waves, eye movement, respiration, oxygen saturation and leg movement together on one screen. Although 85 to 90 percent are helped by CPAP, other options include surgery and oral appliances. The Queen's Sleep Lab staff has four registered sleep technicians and a Board certified Sleep Specialist, Roger Yim, MD, who serves as Medical Director.

Though most patients are adults, children can have sleep disorders as well. One child was diagnosed by educators as learning disabled. However, the Queen's Sleep Lab diagnosed sleep apnea, which caused the child to be too exhausted to concentrate or stay awake at school. The diagnosis and subsequent treatment changed his life.

Your physician can refer you to the Queen's Sleep Lab for an evaluation. For more information about sleeping disorders and treatment options, call the Sleep Lab at 808.547.4396.

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