Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients are delaying or avoiding care for common, treatable sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia. Putting off needed care for sleep disorders can have negative long-term consequences for overall health and increase medical risks, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and depression. Because sleep is essential for optimal health, sleep centers offer convenient options such as telemedicine and home sleep apnea tests to make it easy for patients to have a socially distanced experience and still get the help they need.
For Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 14-20, sleep experts including Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula, chair of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine COVID-19 Task Force, are available for interviews to discuss:
- The impact of postponing treatment of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
- The mitigation strategies sleep centers have implemented to promote patient and staff safety
- Why sleep is essential for overall health, well-being and safety
Dr. Gurubhagavatula is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship. She also serves as director of the sleep medicine clinic at the Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia.