New U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines include sleep apnea screening for all commercial drivers
WEST PALM BEACH, FL--Dec. 30, 2013: MD Now Urgent Care – the largest and fastest growing provider of urgent care and occupational medicine services in South Florida announces its availability today as a certified source for screening and testing of Obstructive Sleep Apnea – now a required part of all DOT physical exams. With multiple urgent care centers located across Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties and more on the way, MD Now Urgent Care Centers is addressing the growing need of commercial driver testing for Sleep Apnea disorders.
A recent Metro-North Railroad derailment in the Bronx earlier this month brought to light the need for such testing. A veteran engineer admitted nodding off while operating the speeding train and woke up too late to stop the crash that killed four people and injured dozens.
According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Association, a shocking one-third of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea.
"At times, there are many commercial drivers who are on the road and away from their primary physician when licenses need renewing," explained Peter Lamelas, M.D., Medical Director for MD Now Urgent Care. "Urgent care centers like MD Now, with physicians who are certified Medical Examiners by the FMCSA can step in to help these drivers with their DOT physical exams."
In 2012, the FMCSA established the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). This program provides new requirements for healthcare professionals who perform the CDL qualifying exams for truck and bus drivers. By May 21, 2014, all examiners must be certified and listed on FMCSA's National Registry to conduct such exams for commercial drivers.