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Sleep apnea may be undiagnosed in some patients

Ohio residents who have incurred spinal cord injuries may also be more likely to suffer from sleep apnea based on a study that looked at 26 chronic spinal cord injury patients. Researchers did a baseline spirometry on the participants who also filled out a questionnaire and had other tests.

They determined that 92 percent of patients with spinal cord injuries had poor sleep quality, and 77 percent had sleep-disordered breathing. Disordered breathing can result in higher death rates due to heart disease for some people with spinal cord injuries. A test for sleep apnea might benefit some people with this injury who also suffer from sleep disorders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 200,000 people in the United States are currently living with spinal cord injuries.

People with sleep apnea stop breathing several times throughout the night. It can result in neurological problems and high blood pressure. However, it can be treated with a CPAP mask that controls breathing or with other measures. A sleep study can diagnose sleep apnea in people with and without spinal cord injuries.

An accident may result in serious injuries to the spinal cord. This can be life-changing, and a person may suddenly be unable to work and need constant care. Whether an accident is the result of a drunk driver or a fall on someone else’s unsafe premises, a victim might want to file a lawsuit against the party who is responsible. In some cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company may offer too little to cover expenses, in which event having the assistance of an attorney in seeking appropriate and fair compensation may be advisable.