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Sleep apnea is any cessation of breathing during sleep, lasting 10 seconds or more, accompanied by awakening and drop in hemoglobin oxygen saturation. Clinical manifestations typically account for more than 15 apnea events per sleep hour. Sleep apneas are classified into central, i.e. there is no respiratory effort throughout the apnea event, and obstructive, i.e. respiratory efforts not only persist, but they also increase during the apneic episode. Obstructive apnea is a common phenomenon in the general population, and its frequency increases with age. At the age of 30-60 years, sleep apnea occurs in 10-24% of men and in 6-9% of women, and 2-4% of these patients experience daytime sleepiness.
Accurate and definitive diagnosis of the sleep apnea syndrome is achieved through Polysomnography (PSG), i.e. a diagnostic technique for the simultaneous recording of neurophysiological, cardiorespiratory and other biological signs throughout sleep, such as electroencephalography, electromyography, electroophthalmoscopy, electrocardiogram, pulmonary airflow, chest and abdominal wall movement, hemoglobin oxygen saturation, snoring and body posture. By simultaneously recording all of these parameters, the syndrome is either confirmed or excluded, and its severity is assessed.
IASO THESSALY Sleep Lab has a state-of-the-art 40-channel sleep recording system that is connected to a well-suited data processing PC and fully capable of uninterrupted and secure recording for a minimum of 15 hours. The recording is continuously monitored by trained staff, and diagnosis is delivered through the analysis of the test results by highly qualified medical staff. This in-house laboratory is located in an area that ensures immediate patient treatment and care in case any complication or incident occurs during the procedure. It comprises a soundproof, fully air-conditioned, single room, equipped with appropriate patient video surveillance equipment and an intercom system that allows patients and staff to communicate with each other.
The paramedical staff monitoring the sleep study is in a separate room with direct visual contact with the sleeping room, and any communication with the examined patient takes place via an intercom system and a bell. The sleep lab is an integral part of IASO THESSALY Department of Pulmonology. Its Scientific Director is a highly specialized pulmonologist (respiratory physician), since pulmonology is the closest specialty to sleep apnea, and, in both Greece and abroad, sleep study labs are primarily linked to pulmonology clinics.