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Press Release January, 2009 The Importance of Sleeping Soundly - Beacon Hospital Sleep Service Tackles Sleep Disorders - Suffering from a sleep disorder can seriously impact on your quality of life and overall health and wellbeing. Fatigue, depression, reduced concentration, memory loss and low levels of immunity to infection are common complaints associated with sleep disorders, which if allowed to continue can lead to more serious complaints. Medical research indicates that people with untreated severe sleep apnoea are more likely to die from fatal cardiovascular events than simple snorers or normal controls  but treatment decreases this risk. Beacon Hospital is now operating a dedicated Sleep Clinic offering effective long-term solutions for sufferers of sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) syndrome significantly increases the risk of stroke or death from any cause, and the increase is independent of other well-known risk factors, including hypertension. OSA is a sleep disorder where the sufferer frequently stops breathing during their sleep. Breathing can stop repeatedly, due to upper airway obstruction. The disrupted sleep pattern and poor quality of sleep leaves the sufferer with fatigue during the day, and may be associated with headaches, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating and fibromyalgia type symptoms. Help is on hand at Beacon Hospital Sleep Clinic, where expert consultants in the field of sleep disorders can assess the patients sleep hygiene, diagnose significant sleep disorders and recommend effective therapy. Beacon Hospital Sleep Clinic offers initial outpatient assessment and inpatient diagnostic testing. Additional assessment of less common sleep disorders, such as central sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy are available. The hospital carries out Full Polysomnography (PSG) overnight, with the patient typically arriving around 5pm and then being discharged the following morning. PSG is a multi-parametric test used to study and record in detail the biophysiological changes that occur in the body during sleep such as brain function, eye movement and heart rhythm, oxygen saturations, muscle activity, chest and abdominal wall movement and snoring volume. Using these results the doctor can assess whether the patient has sleep disordered breathing and its severity, if present. A more basic screening service, Home Oximetry, is available as an outpatient service from Beacon Hospital Sleep Clinic in equivocal cases. Patients wear a small oximeter during sleep, which measures the amount of oxygen saturation in the blood; if oxygen levels drop consistently during the night this may be a sign of sleep apnoea. Commenting on the new service, Ruairi Fahy, MD Consultant at Beacon Hospital Sleep Clinic said, “Sleep disorders can seriously impact on a person’s health and quality of life. Anyone who is repeatedly experiencing disturbed sleep, constant fatigue, awakes with headaches or suspects they may be experiencing breathing difficulties during their sleep should seek medical advice from their GP.” “Signs of obstructive sleep apnoea include loud, frequent and irregular snoring, excessive sleepiness during the day, waking up with headaches, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. Spouses and partners should watch for sudden jerking movements during their partners sleep or they may notice their partner stops breathing, or seems to choke during their sleep. In these instances it is advisable to seek medical assistance and once diagnosed and treated the quality of life of the patient and their long suffering spouse can be significantly improved”, according to the Consultant. The PSG test is covered by most private health insurance plans whilst patients can claim back tax or health insurance on the Home Oximetry tests at a later date in most cases. Beacon Hospital insists upon GP referral for these procedures. Contact the Beacon Hospital Sleep Clinic on 01 293 7584 (phone) or 01 293 66 53 (fax). About Beacon Hospital The 238,000 sq ft, nine-floor Beacon Hospital was opened in October 2006, and provides world-class acute care services, including heart surgery, neurosurgery, and emergency medicine services. Beacon Hospital has eight operating theatres, two endoscopy suites and fourteen critical care beds. The eight operating theatres are divided into dedicated rooms for neurosurgery, urology, cardiac, general, orthopaedic and ophthalmic surgery. The Critical Care Unit is a fourteen-bed unit with individual glass-fronted cubicles, in order to ensure privacy and to minimise the risk of infection. The open plan design allows for visibility of all patients at all times. Beacon Hospital opened its Consultant-delivered Emergency Department at Beacon Hospital in March 2007. Beacon Emergency Department is the first Emergency Department in the Eastern region attached to an independent hospital, giving patients immediate access to all of the major specialties on site, including some of the most advanced diagnostic and laboratory services available in the region, such as X-Ray, Ultrasound, CT, MRI, routine and specialised blood tests. Beacon Cancer Centre offers an unparalleled range of cancer treatment and uniquely has key services such as diagnostics, surgery, chemotherapy, radiology, two state-of-the-art Linear Accelerators (LINACs), and follow-up under one roof. The hospital has also introduced a dedicated Beacon Women’s Centre, which encompasses the full spectrum of women’s gynaecological needs in a modern environment, utilising minimally invasive procedures whenever possible, with a speedy turn around time for patients. Beacon Hospital is the European showcase for General Electric (GE) equipment and is the only hospital in Ireland that has a full complement of the most advanced radiology equipment under one roof. About UPMC UPMC, (University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre), is an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the United States. As western Pennsylvania’s largest employer with 48,000 employees and nearly $7 billion in revenue, UPMC is transforming the economy of the region into one based on medicine, research and technology. By integrating 20 hospitals, 400 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, long-term care facilities and a major insurance plan, UPMC has advanced the quality and efficiency of health care and developed internationally renowned programs in transplantation, cancer, neurosurgery, psychiatry, orthopaedics and sports medicine, among others. UPMC is commercializing its medical and technological expertise by nurturing new companies, developing strategic business relationships with some of the world’s leading multi-national corporations, and expanding into international markets including Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Qatar. For more information about UPMC, visit our website at www.upmc.com  New England Journal of Medicine, 353:19 November 10, 2005
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