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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Surgeon calls for sleep testing
Michael Oko with a patient
Michael Oko believes one in six HGV drivers could be sufferers
A Lincolnshire hospital consultant wants all haulage firms to test their drivers for sleep-related illnesses.

Michael Oko, who works at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital, said that more than 25,000 drivers in the county may have a condition called sleep apnoea.

He said the condition, which left sufferers feeling constantly tired, was both easy to diagnose and to treat.

Lincolnshire road safety officials estimated 25 crashes in the county last year were possibly sleep-related.

Sleep apnoea - of which snoring is a main symptom - causes those who have it to stop breathing briefly, meaning they never enter deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and wake up feeling tired.

Michael Oko said he believes one in six HGV drivers could be sufferers.

Overnight monitoring can determine whether someone has the condition.

He said treatment was simple and effective - usually involving a machine which pumps oxygen directly into a patient's airways to ensure a good night's sleep.


SEE ALSO
Sleep disorders
18 May 06 |  Medical notes

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