Winthrop Helps Postal Clerk Get Some Sleep

Vol. 18, No. 3
Fall 2008

  • A Gift... Beyond the Gift of Life

  • 12 Winthrop Specialists Named to New York Magazine�s 2008 �Best Doctors� List

  • Cancer Center for Kids Moves to a New Home

  • Friends & Benefactors Annual Reception

  • Winthrop Helps Postal Clerk Get Some Sleep

  • Winthrop: A Gateway to a Top-Rated Kidney Transplant Program

  • DiStasio Family Makes Donation to NICU

  • The Center for Advanced Care of Chronic Conditions

  • New Center for the Advanced Care of Chronic Conditions: Easing Patients� Burdens through a Single Coordinated Plan of Care

  • Golfing for the CCFK

  • Annual Gala Celebrates Winthrop�s Passion for Care without Compromise

  • CCFK Families Celebrate Life

  • Unique Program Helps New Mothers Cope

  • Saving Lives in Bolivia

  • Winthrop�s New Welcoming Ambassadors

  • Tenth Annual Cancer Survivors Day Celebrates Life

  • Bay�s Big Bash Does it Again!

  • Spizz Family Supports CCFK

  • Pediatric Unit Receives Quilt Donation

  • Amanda Styles Cirelli Foundation Makes Generous Donation to CCFK

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  • For Floral Park resident John H. Voss III, severe snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness had become a normal part of life. A clerk in the Elmont Post Office for over 16 years, Mr. Voss thought that his poor sleep habits and feelings of fatigue were due largely to his uncommon work schedule of 4 a.m. � 12 p.m. And, although nodding off during breaks had become common for Mr. Voss, he would often frighten his colleagues when catching up on much needed sleep.

    �They�d shake me and say, �Wake up John! We were watching your chest; you weren�t breathing!�� recalls Mr. Voss.

    Then the 46-year-old began waking up with headaches and heart palpations, night sweats and episodes of sleep paralysis � a temporary form of paralysis that can result from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy as well as from having an irregular sleep schedule. That�s when he knew that a medical evaluation was long overdue.

    A visit with his family physician soon led him to Winthrop-University Hospital�s renowned Sleep Disorders Center (SDC), a nationally accredited, hospital-based program with more than 20 years of experience in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders.

    Winthrop�s SDC is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and is staffed by a skilled team of sleep medicine specialists and sleep technologists.

    �Winthrop�s Sleep Disorders Center offers comprehensive, individualized evaluations and testing for patients suffering from problems related to sleep,� said Michael Weinstein, MD, the Director of Winthrop�s Sleep Disorders Center, who is board certified in Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine.

    Dr. Weinstein is nationally recognized for his expertise in sleep medicine and was recently appointed by the AASM to be its representative on the Board of Directors of the national Committee on Accreditation for Polysomnographic Technologist Education. He also serves as vice-chair of the AASM�s Sleep Technologist Issues Committee and is a member of the AASM�s Obstructive Sleep Apnea Task Force.

    An over-night sleep study (polysomnogram) at Winthrop�s Sleep Disorders Center quickly revealed that Mr. Voss was indeed suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) � a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

    �During a sleep study we monitor various body processes such as brain waves, eye movements, heart rate, and breathing patterns to assess a patient�s condition and its severity,� said Dr. Weinstein.

    The sleep study revealed a dangerously high apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) � a measure that represents the number of times per hour that breathing is interrupted due to obstruction of the breathing passage.

    �The findings of the study showed Mr. Voss had an AHI of 160, far exceeding the threshold of 40 events per hour � typically defined as the cutoff for severe sleep apnea,� said Dr. Weinstein.

    Many patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea obtain great relief from a special device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) � a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask that is placed over the nose during sleep. With the CPAP device, air pressure becomes greater than that of the surrounding air, opening a patient�s upper airway passages and preventing apnea and snoring.

    John Voss (left, holding CPAP device) meets with Michael Weinstein, MD, Director of Winthrop�s Sleep Disorders Center.
    �With the use of CPAP, Mr. Voss�s numbers � and his sleep � have completely normalized,� said Dr. Weinstein.

    What�s more, thanks to the markedly improved sense of well-being which he has enjoyed since beginning treatment with CPAP, Mr. Voss has lost 25 pounds and his once high blood pressure has dropped since beginning regimented use of the device in June.

    �I haven�t felt this good in years,� exclaimed Mr. Voss. �Now, I have so much energy � I feel like a kid again!� Good sleep is a critical component of a healthy and productive life.

    Winthrop�s Sleep Disorders Center is committed to helping individuals suffering from a range of disorders related to sleep. The Center�s team will work with patients to arrange a sleep study that is most convenient; daytime sleep studies are available for patients who work at night to allow testing at the time of day when patients would usually sleep.

    If you or someone you know are experiencing trouble sleeping or staying awake, don�t delay - call Winthrop�s Sleep Disorders Center at (516) 663-3907.

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