There were many presentations that I wanted to attend, but it is difficult to do when there is an exhibit booth to staff.
There are a couple that I managed to get to that I found interesting and will mention here...
There was a presentation on the Institute of Medicine study. Try as we might to focus the national attention on issues of sleep and sleep deprivation - it usually takes the publication of a document like the IOM report on, you guess it, sleep disorders and sleep deprivation to collar the attention of those with the power to do something on a national scale.
The report was published in April '06 and members of the committee have taken it on the road to make people aware it. One of their stops was the Sleep meeting.
The report is a hefty 400+ pages with a lot of background and numerous recommendations. The one section of particular importance the ASAA is on Chapter Six Ensuring Adequate Diagnosis and Treatment: Access, Capacity, and Technology Development, which discusses the need for new validating new and existing alternate diagnostic tools for the diagnosis of sleep apnea. You would think, no argument here, but you would be mistaken. The leadership of the AASM, hosts of the Sleep meeting, have resisted the use of portable monitoring for the diagnosis of sleep apnea - their reason: not enough good science to support it. But in the upcoming issue of their Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine they publish Portable Monitoring in the Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Which just happens to the issue where our Open Letter to the Sleep Community concerning the need for greater access to diagnosis for OSA is needed to meet the public health crisis.
Interestingly, members of the panel making the presentation asked for those in the audience interested in helping to advance the recommendations of the report identify themselves. I had left the meeting earlier, fortunately one our board members was present and signed us up!
The second presentation I was able to attend, was one on complex sleep apnea (formerly known as mixed apnea). Complex apnea is the form of sleep apnea that combines obstructive and central apnea.
There is not much written about complex apnea, I suspect that as the field sleep medicine continues to evolve we will hear a lot more about it.
Next - Sleep wrap-up