September 07, 2012

WCSA2012 - #6 – Faces of sleep apnea

The last full day of the World Congress on Sleep Apnea began with a presentation by Dr. Josep Maria Montserrat of Barcelona with another vexing issue in sleep medicine – auto-titrating positive airway pressure devices. His presentation outlined the work he has done to understand the technology and how it can benefit the patient, particularly as a means of titrating the proper pressure to use with a PAP device.

One telling comment he made after mentioning that the algorithms for the different APAPs differ from one another and that they change from one generation of the device to the next without the manufacturer’s announcing the change. The technology has gotten ahead of the science, he said. I had heard this comment at another conference a number of years ago – it was troubling then and it remains  troubling now.
The second talk of the day, perhaps my favorite of the congress, was delivered by Dr. Meir Kryger of Yale. His talk was titled “Faces of Sleep Apnea.” Kryger has, by his count, treated 12,000 patients since 1972 when he started in the field of sleep medicine. His presentation consisted of pictures of sleep apnea patients he has treated over the years. Some of the faces were familiar typology for the OSA patients and some were not. Each image had a story and it was clear that he cared about each one. His talk reminded those present that the physical examination and the patient history are critical to getting to a diagnosis.

The congress ended without a clear statement on where the event would next be held. Pressure from the sponsors of these events to consolidate the number of sleep medicine conferences leaves the date of the next World Congress on Sleep Apnea open. Perhaps it is fitting that the last scheduled congress was held in the Eternal City, the place I call my spiritual home.
Arrivederci!

4 comments:

Unknown said...

I find the comment by Dr. Josep Maria Montserrat – that “The technology has gotten ahead of the science” to be true and very troubling. His mention that “the algorithms for the different APAPs differ from one another and that they change from one generation of the device to the next without the manufacturer’s announcing the change” confirms my suspicion that changes to PAPs are being done without good confirmation and proper research that the changes do benefit health.

I have come to believe that some of these changes are shooting the feet right off of the manufacturers who produce them. For example, I believe that the “clear airway sensing” pulses contribute to unstable breathing – which – if true – could make them a factor contributing to sleep fragmentation and vascular problems! This is not a light issue.

We need to get this out of the dark recesses of corporate secrets and into the light of public science, for all of our sakes. We need to do this now.

Bill said...

As the world gets fatter with easy access to fast food and processed garbage, I'm sure the faces of this disorder will continue to change.

JONES WILSON said...

Thanks for sharing this post ....
Autopap | Bi-pap

Pulmonary Solutions said...

It is good that there are events like this to check and inform public regarding sleep apnea.