New Standards and Guidelines for Drivers with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea syndrome - Report of the Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Working Group

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Title: New Standards and Guidelines for Drivers with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea syndrome - Report of the Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Working Group
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Date: 2013
Abstract: Obstructive Sleep Apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is a prevalent chronic sleeprelated disease inducing among other consequences an increased risk of Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs). The disease has been well characterized in the last two decades, but the effects of the disease on road traffic accidents have only been thoroughly confirmed in recent years. OSAS has not been included up to now in the list of diseases linked to driving risks, as listed in the Annex III of the Directive 2006/126/EC. According to the growing evidence, the driving licence committee established in 2012 a Working Group on OSA. This group has developed three main aspects of the problem, with the aim of making it possible to introduce OSA in the Annex III in the near future. The Working Group has identified the population at risk, and has proposed to address all applicants for a driving licence, at the start and at each renewal period. A screening strategy has been devised, composed of simply available objective data, mainly anthropometric, complemented by questions on the presence of recent MVAs, of symptoms and complaints frequently associated with OSAS, and a questionnaire assessment of daytime sleepiness. This provides a simple semi-quantitative analysis of the probability of the applicant being afflicted by OSAS, thus needing a complementary medical advice procedure before an unrestricted licence can be delivered. A series of different decisions on the delivery of the driving licence has been proposed according to the individual situation of the applicant, whether a diagnosis of OSAS is established, or a simple suspicion that the disease might be present, whether a treatment is available and complied with, whether disabling symptoms are controlled or not. The proposal also includes recommendations on the appropriate diagnostic expertise and technology required to offer sound guidance to the administrative authorities. The Working Group has identified present information and education gaps that should worth be filled in order to enhance the awareness on the relation between OSAS and MVAs, and contribute to the preventive efforts to reduce the rate of MVAs. These efforts should address professional drivers and their employers, as well as police officers in charge of filling in the official forms required in case of MVAs with property damage or personal injuries. The aim in this context is to better assess the possibility of accidents being due to the driver having fallen asleep at the wheel, in order to improve the statistical information on accidents and sleepiness. 
Type of material: Technical Report
Publisher: European Commission. Directorate-General for Energy and Transport
Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS)Motor vehicle accidentsDriving licence
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Medicine Research Collection

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