“To sleep, perchance to dream”
- Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Sleep apnoea almost seems like an Australian invention. Its physiology was poorly understood in the 1970s and contemporary treatment owes a lot to the pioneering work of Dr Colin Sullivan on positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.
Since then the extent of the problem has grown considerably and reflects the increase in the body mass of Australians. Obesity, and sleep apnoea, one of its consequences, is now a major industry around the world.
The clinical significance of the problem has been debated and recent studies suggest that our current approach in Australia has led to over-treatment.
In this talk Dr Joe Churton, respiratory physician in Lismore, outlines how to evaluate and treat obstructive sleep apnoea and how to avoid some of the traps in diagnosis and treatment. His flowchart of the steps required to obtain a government funded CPAP machine will be useful to any practitioner dealing with this issue.
Dr Joe Churton spoke at the NoRDocs Unconference
in Lismore on 30 June, 2018