May 25, 2009

Is someone on The Hill listening? A House Resolution on Sleep Apnea.

I got a call about month ago from the deputy chief of staff for Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R, FL -9) and he advised me that Congressman Bilirakis was introducing a resolution wanting to increase awareness about sleep apnea.
I was quite pleased to learn this and happy to have a copy to review. Here is the text of what was submitted:

1st Session
H. RES. 384
Recognizing the importance of increased awareness of sleep apnea, and for other purposes.
April 30, 2009
Mr. BILIRAKIS submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
Recognizing the importance of increased awareness of sleep apnea, and for other purposes.
Whereas sleep apnea is a common condition that affects more than 12,000,000 Americans, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health;
Whereas there are several types of sleep apnea that cause people with this condition to repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, often many times;
Whereas sleep apnea is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep three or more nights each week, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness;
Whereas sleep apnea becomes more common with age, and 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffers from it;
Whereas sleep apnea is more common in men than women, and more than half of the people with sleep apnea are overweight;
Whereas sleep apnea can strike anyone, at any age, at any time, including children;
Whereas untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes;
Whereas untreated sleep apnea can also increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents and adversely impact the quality of life of those suffering from this condition in other ways;
Whereas lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people; and
Whereas the lack of public awareness of this serious condition leads to many undiagnosed and untreated cases: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) supports raising public awareness of sleep apnea; and
(2) encourages all Americans to educate themselves and others about the consequences of sleep apnea and its potential treatments.

I would have liked to help them with the language, but no matter, the idea is there and we are hopeful that something will come of it.

If you have expressed your sentiments to your Members of Congress and the President concerning sleep apnea and healthcare reform... please do,

I am in touch with the congressman's office and have offered to be a resource to him in his efforts to raise awareness about sleep apnea on Capital Hill.

Happy Memorial Day - thank you to all the service men and women, particularly those serving while treating their sleep apnea - our hope is that we serve you as well as you served us.

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