1 in 10 sleep apnea patients have been injured at work

by Americare Respiratory Services

An alarming rate of workplace injuries happen top people who have problems with sleep, including undiagnosed sleep apnea.

The largest study of its kind was recently published in a medical journal, Thorax, documenting the incidence of workplace injuries among people with sleep apnea and those without. 

Everyone can relate to being tired on a Monday morning.  When you are tired or sleep deprived, your reaction times might be slower, your concentration might suffer, and your overall productivity at work may be less than usual.  But people with sleep apnea, primarily those who do not know they have it, might feel like every day is a Monday.  Sleep apnea causes cognitive decline that can affect your reaction time, ability to concentrate, and productivity. 

More than 10% of people with sleep apnea reported injuries at work, compared to about half that amount for people without sleep apnea.  In other words, if you have sleep apnea, you are twice as likely to have an injury at work.  And, your risk of getting hurt from a fall or motor vehicle accident is triple.  A follow-up study is being done to see if treatment for sleep apnea (CPAP therapy, etc.) lowers the risk of injury.

As the nation’s leading provider of CPAP equipment and supplies, we have heard countless stories about how treatment for sleep apnea works.  People are finally getting quality sleep every night of the week.  They don’t feel tried during the day. They don’t have trouble concentrating anymore.  And they are more productive in all areas of life.   It would not be surprising to learn that treatment for sleep apnea reduces workplace injury risk – or any type of injury risk. 

If you have trouble sleeping, or think you may have sleep apnea symptoms, please talk to your doctor about it.  You might be a candidate for a sleep study, which collects data about your sleep patterns overnight.  If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, come back to AmericareCPAP.com to buy your first CPAP machine!

DiGiulio, Sarah. “Untreated sleep apnea doubles your risk of workplace injury,” Huffington Post, April 1 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/untreated-sleep-injuries-and-work-injuries_us_56fd645ce4b0daf53aef1c64 (Accessed May 10, 2016).