FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Revolutionary New Treatment Helps Heart Failure And Sleep Apnea Patients
Columbus Residents Benefiting After Years Of Deteriorating Health And Quality Of Life
COLUMBUS, Ohio - September 5 - One out of every two patients with heart failure repeatedly fails to breathe during sleep. This problem (central sleep apnea, or "CSA") can cause dangerous drops in blood oxygen levels that accelerate deterioration of cardiac function while rendering treatment for heart failure ineffective. This frequently undetected breathing disorder also afflicts many patients with atrial fibrillation. Until recently, effective treatment for central sleep apnea was unavailable. Now, a new treatment approach called adaptive servo-ventilation is available at The Columbus Community Health Regional Sleep Disorders Center.
"ResMed's adaptive servo-ventilation device will save the lives of countless individuals who suffer from unstable breathing during sleep," stated Dr. Robert Clark, Medical Director of The Columbus Community Health Regional Sleep Disorders Center. "I regard it as the greatest single breakthrough in sleep medicine since the development of positive airway pressure itself in the mid-1980s."
A similar condition causes patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to abandon treatment. Evan, a 54 year-old slender Columbus man with a history of snoring and daytime sleepiness, demonstrated 95 episodes per hour of obstruction of his throat during sleep, with repeated drops in blood oxygen levels: placing him at dangerously elevated risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and accelerated coronary disease. Then, when placed on positive airway pressure--the leading therapy for obstructive sleep apnea--he immediately developed central sleep apneas. He repeatedly failed to make any effort to breathe--with even greater decreases in blood oxygen saturations that made his already tenuous condition much worse.
He continued to do poorly despite more aggressive treatments, such as use of home oxygen in conjunction with a variant of positive airway pressure that acts much like a demand ventilator. Furthermore, he could not tolerate sleeping throughout the night with them.
Evan was then treated with a new technology specifically developed for the management of central sleep apneas--adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV). The results were dramatic. When using ASV, he demonstrated entirely normal breathing and oxygen levels throughout sleep, without any need for supplemental oxygen or additional treatments.
"I am so grateful to Dr. Clark for identifying an appropriate therapy for my sleep apnea. My health and quality of life were deteriorating rapidly," said Evan. "Treatment with ResMed's VPAP Adapt SV has improved my daytime alertness and energy levels significantly. And my wife is delighted both by how much better I feel and by the fact that this new machine is so quiet. At last, we both sleep well! I believe that other patients who are experiencing frustration over their current sleep therapy regimen can benefit from Dr. Clark's unique experience in this area."
Evan's sleep specialist, Dr. Robert Clark, shares his excitement over this new treatment approach. "It is a remarkably intelligent and subtle device," says Dr. Clark. "ASV continuously analyzes a patient's breathing pattern on an ongoing basis and immediately senses when breathing is becoming unstable. Then, it provides just enough support to ensure stable breathing…and it "backs out" when it no longer is needed. It is far more comfortable than our prior treatments because it adjusts to the patient's changing needs--rather than forcing the patient to try to adapt to it. And studies have clearly shown that ASV is far more effective than any other treatment for central sleep apneas in heart failure victims."
Dr. Clark's facility, the Columbus Community Health Regional Sleep Disorders Center, is the only area center to offer adaptive servo-ventilation to its patients. Twelve of its patients whose sleep apnea had previously been extremely difficult to treat have already been tried on ASV. It normalized breathing in all twelve and in every case, it eliminated any need for supplemental oxygen. Oxygen is a costly treatment that renders travel difficult--and oxygen therapy often worsens sleep quality by increasing nasal drying and due to the noise and heat generated by many oxygen concentrators.
"Central sleep apnea can be a devastating problem. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to detect, since it often is unassociated with either snoring or sleepiness. Also, the pauses in breathing are not always witnessed by bed partners," Dr. Clark cautions.
"A high index of suspicion is extremely important," he continues. "CSA should be suspected in all patients with either significant heart failure and atrial fibrillation, as well as in patients with obstructive sleep apnea who have difficulty tolerating CPAP or bi-level positive airway pressure for unclear reasons. A timely diagnosis is particularly crucial in severe cases, now that we have such a remarkably effective and well-tolerated solution to offer afflicted patients."
Dr. Clark, who is dually board certified in sleep medicine and neurology, has been actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep related illnesses since 1975 and has given presentations on sleep disorders in Europe, Canada and South America. The Columbus Community Health Regional Sleep Disorders Center, fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sees patients from throughout the United States and other countries.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Dr. Clark at the following:
The Columbus Community Health Regional Sleep Disorders Center, 1430 South High Street, Columbus OH 43207; telephone: (614) 443-7800, fax: (614) 443-6960, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web site: www.thesleepsite.com.