23 July 2010

We have a sleep laboratory for our old and fat population

| johnboy
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Katy Gallagher has opened a $750,000 “Sleep Laboratory” (at that price we suspect it’s a dedicated room with some couches and cameras) at the Canberra Hospital.

“With this first public Sleep Laboratory, the hospital will be able to diagnose breathing problems during sleep and provide quality care to sufferers. Patients will be spared the stress of travel and the expense of private laboratories,” Ms Gallagher said.

This state of the art facility is unique in Canberra, being equipped with digital video monitoring for diagnosis of certain types of sleep disorders, a lifter for immobile patients and both beds in the laboratory rated for bariatric patients.

“This Sleep Laboratory will help manage the expected increase in sufferers of breathing problems during sleep as the population ages and rates of obesity increase, as this disorder is more common in these groups.” Ms Gallagher said.

The Canberra Hospital Sleep Laboratory will have the potential to perform up to 900 sleep studies a year.

The unit is staffed by a mix of full and part-time respiratory and sleep physicians, sleep scientists, nurses and other support staff specialising in sleep science.

It’s nice that she’s got a good news story as the Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson is asking some difficult questions about reviews of obstetrics and why they haven’t been made public.

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I’m not old and fat!! YOU’RE old and fat!!


Typsy McStaggers9:41 pm 23 Jul 10

Perhaps Ms Gallagher could have used a more appropriate line of PR. ‘Sleep Factory’ sounds more like a Roald Dahl children’s book or a Discount Mattress Warehouse (which it actually is).

There are some dubious arguments put forward in this media release but some pertinent ones as well. I feel like I need to talk about OSA as an example of how this clinic will help a lot of locals.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) affects scores of people and those around them, regardless of age and fitness. I’ve been privy to a serious case for a while now and this person is absolutely fit as a fiddle, far from far old, and far from fat.

This fella, after being pushed by friends, attended local private clinics that diagnosed well, charged even better, but couldn’t treat.

There are pretty obvious respiratory, hence, heart and other implications when a person will effectively stop breathing for 10sec plus at a time, off and on through the night. (10sec+ of no breath widely constitutes ‘sleep apnoea’, or OSA). He or she will be more than often unaware this even occurs.

I feel most for those who sit up in bed willing the next breath from their partner throughout the night.

I’d be surprised if a large percentage of Canberrans don’t know someone who has been impacted, especially when there is a lot of seasonal pollen around our region.

$750k is a significant financial impact, agreed. Plus, a bad night’s sleep is not a reasonable excuse to call the ambos and check in to casualty to reach the Sleep Factory. I’d have them on speed-dial Monday mornings if that were the case.

I would trust a stringent triage plan would filter the needy from the ‘wanty’, not sure how this would be vetted so I’d like to find feedback on that aspect.

I snore, I think, sometimes, depending. Love the beer-bed idea. I try not to sleep on my stomach and blow my nose before bed which seems to work-ish. But what happens when it gets to be a really significant health and relationship issue? Do we deserve dedicated treatment for ACT residents?

As long as the triage process is hole proof, based on only my personal experience, I think the Sleep Factory (for want of a better name) will be a great relief to a lot of locals.

Woody Mann-Caruso8:52 pm 23 Jul 10

I think JB’s ‘old and fat’ comments were a reference to the Minister’s comments:

“This Sleep Laboratory will help manage the expected increase in sufferers of breathing problems during sleep as the population ages and rates of obesity increase…”

He never given the impression that he believes he’s built like a Russian ballet dancer, either.

Interesting generalisation JB. From the photographic evidence I’ve seen here I reckon I’m at least half your body fat % but have had to stay overnight at the sleep clinic in Deakin to treat apnoea. I’ve also performed sporting deeds well beyond that of Joe Average.

So your point is…….?

OpenYourMind5:42 pm 23 Jul 10

I’m not sure if these comments are just being sarcastic or just showing a complete lack of knowledge, understanding and general empathy for sleep disorders and the people and partner’s of people that suffer them.

justin heywood4:41 pm 23 Jul 10

Our Emergency Department waiting times are the second worst in the country (after the N.T.) (June 2009 figures*)

We have (by far) the longest wait for elective surgery in the country: 72 days against a national average wait of 34 days. (Elective surgery is ‘any surgery that can be delayed for 24 hours’. This includes cancer).

A ‘sleep lab’ may create a bit of positive publicity for Katy, but I suggest that there is more urgent and serious (as in life-threatening) priorities she should be working on.


amarooresident33:19 pm 23 Jul 10

I’d imagine their are a whole host of privacy and legal reasons why the obstetrics reports haven’t been released publically. I’d doubt the full reports will ever be released.

Typsy McStaggers3:15 pm 23 Jul 10

Obstructive sleep apnoea is defintely not restricted to the “old and fat”, terrible generalisation sorry johnboy. It can be pretty hard on the heart when you stop breathing in your sleep for 10 seconds plus throughout your sleep. My house mate has a an issue with it and he is mid-30s and absolutely fit as a fiddle.

gun street girl3:07 pm 23 Jul 10

dvaey said :

I may be mistaken, but doesnt Canberra already have at least one sleep lab at the hospital, which has been around for many years?

Nope. Up until now, all sleep studies in the ACT have been done in privately run facilities, not through the public system.

georgesgenitals3:03 pm 23 Jul 10

I think reading this thread just solved my problem getting to sleep.

Old and fat? No.

The two people I know that have sleep apnoea were diagnosed before they were thirty and are not even remotely overweight.

I may be mistaken, but doesnt Canberra already have at least one sleep lab at the hospital, which has been around for many years?

Its outrageous these bludgers sponging on the public purse. sleep disorder pfft as if, they’re putting it on etc etc.

dear oh dear

Woody Mann-Caruso2:19 pm 23 Jul 10

The government spent money on something that wasn’t my personal priority! Zeroes scare me, and I think three of them represent a large amount of money! It’s like I’m personally out of pocket for the entire amount!

Fantastic. $750,000 for sleep research when the ACT doesn’t even have the capability to treat people suffering from social personality disorders.

What a farce.

$750,000?? Pay me half that and I’ll diagnose and treat obese people’s sleeping problems for a year.

My universal treatment program is easy!

Day one… exercise more, eat less.

Day two… exercise more, eat less.

Day three, we spin the program right around… eat less, exercise more.


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