“There are so many things that can contribute to the problem,” said Sharon Brown, manager of the Sleep Disorder Centre. “Sleep disorders are often the side effect to other issues.”
These issues may include obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
The centre opened in January 2009, consolidating testing and treatment services in one location. Patients are assessed and treated on a priority basis.
“This process makes a huge difference,” Brown said.
An example of a client who would be seen as soon as possible is a pilot or long-distance truck driver at risk for falling asleep on the job.
Overnight sleep studies are conducted seven nights a week out of 10 beds. Approximately 300 overnight sleep studies are performed in the lab each month. The centre also oversees up to 200 home overnight sleep studies per month.
Treatment may range from medication to portable devices patients can use at home. Manitoba Health supplies sleep-therapy equipment such as masks, filters and hoses free of charge to all patients.
The centre’s staff of 35, consisting of physicians, polysomnography technicians/technologists, respiratory therapists and support staff, provide services to more than 12,000 existing clients.