Patient Resources and Q & A's
NEW Obstructive Sleep Apnea Screening Requirement
March 2015, FAA requires AME's to screen for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
You will need to provide these documents every year
- Downloaded sleep report.
- Prescribing sleep specialist current status report.
FAA Flight Physicals
Dr. Tilton, the Federal Air Surgeon held a conference on 12 December concerning this. After the first of the year, FAA aviation medical examiners must list a BMI (body mass index) on FAA flight physicals. An aviator who has a BMI of 40 or greater will need screening for sleep Apnea.
ATP Medicine, LTD would like to avoid discussions about the politics of this and leave that to ALPA and AOPA.
Our proposal to you is this:
Let us avoid even going near the BMI of 40. Sleep Apnea is only one of the problems associated with BMI of 40.
Additionally, sleep Apnea is closely associated with the following:
1) One ominous consequence of sleep Apnea is atrial fibrillation (Afib). With this condition, the cardiac output is decreased by 10-15%, the risk of stroke increases, and one must be put on anti-coagulant medication. Needless to say the FAA looks at this condition very seriously and a special issuance is required.
2) Diabetes is a complication of sleep Apnea. With sleep Apnea, Diabetes also requires a special issuance and close monitoring.
3) Obesity is also a consequence of sleep Apnea and vice versa, sleep Apnea is a consequence of obesity.
4) Sleep Apnea can be a cause of hypertension.
5) Sleep Apnea itself directly causes daytime drowsiness goes without saying.
There are more complications of sleep Apnea not listed.
These are just a few of the reasons to prevent sleep Apnea due to increased BMI from ever occurring. The evaluation and monitoring of person with a BMI greater than 40 and sleep Apnea required by the FAA may be the least of the pilots problems.