Snore Centre now offers online video consultaitons - Sleep apnoea may increase rick of severe COVID-19 - No evidence CPAP use increases coronavirus risk - BBC Stories - Try the Snore Centre Mobile App - Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy
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Snore Centre eNewsletter June 2020

Snore Centre now offers online video consultations via Doctify

Given the current crisis with many people's movements severely restricted The Snore Centre has set up an online consultation service in partnership with Doctify

Patients can now access our first class sleep service from their own homes without having to risk travel or attending a clinic in person.

Doctify is revolutionising the global healthcare market, enabling patients to search, book and review clinics and hospitals online. They strongly believe in the benefit of patient reviews and how they strengthen the patient-specialist relationship: empowering people to make informed decisions, as well as recognising the exceptional dedication of clinics and hospitals.

Sleep apnoea may increase risk of severe COVID-19

An analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland has suggested that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be a risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) reported News-Medical Net.

The team found that a disproportionate number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 had pre-existing OSA (diagnosed a median of 2.5 years beforehand).

The researchers also identified elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT), and possibly reduced oxygen saturation as potentially useful measures for predicting which patients may require critical care. Since the COVID-19 outbreak has rapidly spread across the world, Southwest Finland has been relatively unaffected.

When the World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 1,500,000 cases in just Europe alone by May 3rd, Southwest Finland, with its population of almost 480,000, had only identified 263 cases. Of those cases, 28 had been admitted to the Turku University Hospital.

The researchers point out that in the Hospital District of Southwest Finland, a total of 12,799 people use continuous positive airway pressure therapy for OSA, and around 2,000 people use a mandibular advancement device.

“Thus, the prevalence of hospital-treated OSA is around 3.1%,” writes the team.

Given, the disproportionately high prevalence of pre-existing OSA (29%) among the patients, Feuth, and colleagues further analyzed their clinical characteristics. Body mass index (BMI) was more than 30 kg/m2 in 75% of cases (overall median 38 kg/m2), meaning that most of these patients were severely obese.  

“Even though obesity is by now an established risk factor for severe COVID-19, the weight alone does not explain the high proportion of patients with OSA, as obesity is a much more common pre-existing condition than OSA in the Finnish population with a prevalence of 26.1% among men and 27.5% among women,” write the researchers.

Other features of OSA that the team suggest may explain the increased risk of severe COVID-19 are intermittent hypoxia, which could exacerbate the hypoxia caused by COVID-19, and chronic inflammation, which could contribute to the “cytokine storm syndrome” that can be fatal in cases of COVID-19.

Continue reading...

No evidence CPAP use increases coronavirus risk

There is no current evidence that CPAP use increases the risk for getting or developing complications of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, many patients with OSA may also have other long term health problems that may increase their risk. Please ensure that if you are affected by any other conditions that you check if they are relevant for COVID-19.

OSA Alliance advice for CPAP users:

  • People with OSA should continue to use their CPAP at home as normal.
  • There is no evidence that using CPAP makes you more likely to catch COVID-19, and nothing to suggest that CPAP will make you more unwell if you do catch it.
  • If a CPAP user becomes unwell with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (new cough and fever > 37.8 C), please follow government guidance regarding self and household isolation.
  • We do not know whether CPAP makes virus spread worse within a household. This will be something you will need to consider when deciding whether or not to continue using CPAP if you are self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19. You may wish to distance yourself from vulnerable household members by changing bedrooms or stopping CPAP for a short time.
  • Any respiratory infection, particularly with a blocked nose, can make it more difficult to use CPAP. Try and persist, but if wearing CPAP makes you feel worse (e.g. by increasing coughing and disturbing sleep), then stop using it until your respiratory symptoms improve. Sleeping more upright, avoiding alcohol and using a mandibular advancement spilt if you have one, may help as alternatives to CPAP in reducing OSA a little in this period. Your OSA symptoms are likely to worsen over the week, but will resolve when you restart CPAP.
  • Routine hygiene is adequate for infection control: changing machine filters routinely, cleaning surfaces, cleaning mask and tubing with hand-hot soapy water (washing up liquid) and washing hands regularly.
  • Masks and machines should not be shared.
  • Please use the telephone number/email address provided by your sleep centre for urgent issues with your equipment or sleep/OSA related symptoms. Do not attend in person unless instructed to do so. Please be aware the team may not be able to respond quickly, as staff may have been moved to Emergency Services.
  • Please look after masks and tubing carefully as there may be a temporary shortage in the future.
  • A reminder that DVLA says anyone with excessive sleepiness having or likely to have an adverse effect on driving must not drive.

Continue reading...

BBC Stories: Are you holding your breath in your sleep?

Watch the video on the BBC

Have You Tried Our Mobile App?


Keep up with all the latest news and research on sleep apnoea from the Sleeping Disorders Centre with this nifty free app. Here you can find all our social media channels (YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Blog) all in one place, right on your phone.

Be sure to let us know what you think of our app by leaving a review on iTunes or the Google Play Store. All your feedback is valuable to us.


Download the app for Android devices

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Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy using virtual reality  ​

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