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Traumatic brain injury patients often suffer from sleep apnea

Researchers are planning to take part in a nationwide study to see if medical devices that patients use at home are able to diagnose sleep apnea. This is particularly helpful research for those in West Virginia and elsewhere who have suffered traumatic brain injury, as sleep apnea often becomes a problem following this type of injury. The study will compare how accurate these home devices are compared to formal lab screenings.

The home devices are known as wrist actigraphs, which are essentially sensors that look like wristwatches. If these devices prove to be as effective as the polysomnography typically used in sleep labs, they may lead to earlier diagnoses and thus quicker treatment. In many cases, sleep apnea is not diagnosed, and this can present a major setback in the recovery process of a traumatic brain injury victim.

According to recent research, 50 percent of people admitted to inpatient rehabilitation for brain injury received sleep apnea diagnoses. Meanwhile, 37 percent of patients with brain injury were found to be diagnosed with the sleeping issue. Getting the best sleep possible is crucial for recovery following brain injury.

In some instances, a traumatic brain injury may be the result of another person's carelessness in West Virginia. For example, perhaps a fellow driver was being negligent behind the wheel by texting while driving, or maybe a business property owner failed to remove a hazard that caused a customer to be injured in a slip-and-fall accident. Those who are hurt in these situations have the right to file personal injury claims, seeking damages. A monetary award in a successfully fought case may help to cover medical costs and other losses related to the traumatic brain injury.

Source: sleepreviewmag.com, "For Traumatic Brain Injury Patients, Researching Wrist Actigraphy to Detect Sleep Apnea", April 18, 2017

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