SleepCare Offering At-Home Testing for Sleep Apnea
SleepCare Offering At-Home Testing for Sleep Apnea

SleepCare Offering At-Home Testing for Sleep Apnea

Hospital

​​​​​Board certified sleep physician and pulmonologist Sunil Vaidya, MD (left), shows the WatchPAT finger probe connected to the wrist device worn by Denise Orwick, director of respiratory, EEG and sleep services at Wyandot Memorial Hospital. The at-home sleep testing system includes a sensor placed just below the front of neck for respiratory effort, snoring and body position. Questions about the new option for sleep testing can be directed to Orwick at the hospital.

Sleep testing at Wyandot Memorial Hospital is now easier with SleepCare’s newest option, WatchPAT.

WatchPAT is a portable diagnostic device that is used in the comfort of a patient’s home for accurate screenings, detection and follow up of sleep apnea.

“The WatchPAT is simple to use,” noted Denise Orwick, director of respiratory, EEG and sleep services, “and gives us good clinical data and insight since it’s done in your own bedroom – the environment that best reflects the pattern of your sleep habits.”

Orwick started the sleep lab at Wyandot Memorial in 2004 – first at the Times Building in Carey, then moving to the second floor of a new addition at the hospital in 2012. In-hospital sleep testing is available during both nighttime and daytime hours to accommodate patients’ work routines, but the setting away from home can make sleep difficult for some.

“Patients often struggle to relax and fall asleep for their test with us,” Orwick said. “Using the WatchPAT at home can reduce any anxiety associated with the medical testing.”

The WatchPAT is a small wrist-mounted device with sophisticated sensors for monitoring oxygen levels in the blood, heart rate, body movement, body position, snoring intensity and changes in the autonomic nervous system caused by respiratory disturbances during sleep. It is put on at bedtime and continues monitoring for 10 consecutive hours. Upon waking, the device is removed and returned to the hospital for sleep data downloading. The results are interpreted by Sunil Vaidya, MD, a board-certified sleep physician and pulmonologist with additional certification in WatchPAT interpretation.

“Dr. Vaidya will review the results with you and discuss any therapy that is warranted,” Orwick added.

Treatments for sleep apnea range from lifestyle modifications and oral appliances fitted by dentists to positive airway pressure therapies and upper airway surgery. The sleep lab staff can assist patients in finding the best option for their needs.

“Treating sleep apnea leads to an immediate improvement in health, quality of life, performance and overall well-being,” Orwick emphasized. “There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep to get us going in the morning so we’re refreshed, our batteries are recharged, and we’re ready to take on another day. When you sleep well, you’re more productive, creative and sociable.”

Sleep disorders can be life-threatening if left untreated. Interruptions in the sleep cycle have been linked to coronary artery disease, hypertension, stroke and depression. Sleep apnea symptoms include snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, restless sleep, daytime drowsiness, irritability, depression, memory loss and morning headaches.

Orwick suggested that folks talk with their medical provider if they – or their bed partner – exhibit any of these symptoms and ask about sleep testing at the hospital or at home with WatchPAT.

“Sleep is much too important to ignore,” she stated. “If you’ve been fearful or unwilling to have a sleep test at the hospital, give the WatchPAT a try.”

For more information about WatchPAT, contact Orwick at 419-294-4991, extension 2279, or email dorwick@wyandotmemorial.org.