What Is Sleep Apnea Screening

OSA Screening Guidance for AMEs

*Music* *Airplane Sound Effect* Hello. Welcometo this update on Obstructive Sleep Apneascreening guidance for Aviation Medical Examiners. According to the Federal AirSurgeon, the new guidance willsignificantly improve the safety of the NationalAirspace System while

simultaneously improving pilothealth and career longevity. Today, I'll walk youthrough a triage function resulting in six possibledeterminations. But first, a littlehistory on this topic: In 2008 the NTSB providedrecommendations to the FAA to mitigate the safety riskof Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In response to theserecommendations, the FAA developed lectures onsleeprelated disorders

and in particularObstructive Sleep Apnea, to be delivered at alltraining events. Unfortunately, after fiveyears of awareness training, the number of pilotsidentified with OSA was virtually unchanged. It's important to note thatthe NTSB has recently placed OSA on their quot;Most Wantedquot;list for transportation safety improvements for 2015.

As a result, the FAA hasdeveloped new guidance to address thisgrowing concern. This tutorial outlines the processthat AMEs are expected to perform at eachpilot examination. The process is aresult of input given by industrystakeholders and medical practice guidelinesestablished by the American Academy ofSleep Medicine, or AASM.

AMEs will perform what isessentially a triage function screening and assigningpilots into one of six OSA groups while enteringexam results into AMCS. We do not expect theAME to perform a sleep medicine evaluation,nor do we encourage it. When performing the triage, itis important to keep in mind two principles. Number one: Apilot should not be denied or deferred unless the AMEbelieves he or she represents

an immediate safety hazard. This should be rare regardingOSA. And number two: No pilot willbe deferred based on Body Mass Index alone. Let's go over how anAME will assign pilots to the OSA groups. When examining pilots for OSA,AMEs should apply al judgment using criteriadeveloped by the AASM.

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