Increasing patient and physician demand has led to the creation of a third sleep disorder testing lab at Harlan ARH Hospital.
“After four years of operation, our Sleep Center continues to grow and now requires the addition of another lab to meet the needs of our patients and their physicians,” said David Brash, Community CEO at Harlan ARH.
The current wait time to have a sleep study done is from 4 to 6 weeks, according to Anna Eldridge, Chief of Cardiopulmonary Services and Director of the Sleep Center. With the opening of the third lab, she expects patient waiting time for a sleep study to be no more than two weeks.
“This new addition, which is slated to open in September, will allow the hospital to meet this demand and reduce the wait time for our patients,” Eldridge said. The continued growth in demand for sleep studies is a combination of an increasing number of patients receiving sleep disorder studies, and the desire of other patients for diagnostic and treatment options closer to home, she noted.
The center helps patients suffering from such common sleep disorders as sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy. Sleep apnea alone is estimated to effect 20 million people in the United States, the vast majority of whom will go undiagnosed.
Symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring and/or profuse sweating during sleep; inability to concentrate during waking hours; excessive daytime sleepiness; confusion or brief memory loss; personality change, and weight gain.
Sleep has a profound effect on waking performance and is vital for physical and mental health. Many insurance providers are now requiring sleep studies before agreeing to pay for certain types of home medical equipment. Some employers are also requesting job applicants to undergo sleep testing as part of their medical screening, and many physicians are requesting sleep studies prior to any major surgery.
Using a process known as “advanced ploysomnography” the center will record the biophysiological changes that occur during sleep. The test will monitor body functions including brainwaves, eye movements, muscle activity, as well as hear rate and breathing function. The lab will be open for service Monday through Friday. For more information please contact Cardiopulmonary Services at Harlan ARH 606-573-8100 ext. 2399 or 2396.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating nine hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia. The ARH system employs approximately 4,000 employees and has a network of more than 400 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, ARH provided nearly $96 million in charity and uncompensated care in the past year alone.