News Stories

FMCSA Delays Rules Regarding Obstructive Sleep Apnea for CMV Drivers

  • By Joel Blanchard, MD, medical director of Sanford Health Occupational Medicine
  • Oct 31, 2017

On August 8, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that they would not create specific rules on how to handle obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, although they previously suggested that they would create such rules.

Because OSA is a high-risk situation for CMV drivers, the FMCSA recommends that medical examiners continue to use their own clinical judgment and the recommendations from the FMCSA Medical Review Board.

The FMCSA Medical Review Board and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee agreed on the following recommendations:

  • A driver with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more is to have a sleep study.
  • A driver with a BMI equal to or greater than 33 and less than 40 is to be assessed on 11 sleep apnea risk factors. If three or more of these factors are present a sleep study is to be ordered. The risk factors include:
    • Being male
    • Being a post-menopausal female
    • Age 42 or older
    • High blood pressure
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Stroke or heart disease
    • Underactive thyroid disease
    • Snoring
    • Spells of breathing pauses while sleeping
    • Small or recessed jaw
    • Small airway
    • Neck size greater than 17 inches (male)
    • Neck size greater than 15.5 inches (female) 

Please be aware that the current process of Sanford Occupational Medicine is what the FMCSA is recommending and there are no changes at this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a Sanford Occupational Medicine Clinic at (888) 600-2378.

Sanford OccMed’s comprehensive program is tailored to your business’ needs and is backed by Sanford’s team of medical specialists.

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