Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home sweet home

Don’t worry drivers; the medical industry has got you covered.

The FMCSA Medical Review Board recently recommended that all commercial truck drivers with body mass indexes of 30 or greater undergo a one- or two-night study for sleep apnea.

The proposal may go nowhere, or it may be adopted in full.

Whatever the case, the sleep study industry is prepared for the latter. A press release recently circulated, touting the benefits of a new sleep study lab housed in a truck and trailer. You can view the truck and trailer here.

The truck delivers sleep studies in heated or air-conditioned comfort, complete with areas for lab technicians to observe the patient. The trailer bedroom pictured in the release even has a picture of a steering wheel hung above the headboard.

I doubt the sleep study industry is putting enough sleep lab trailers together to test the millions of commercial drivers who are at or above the Medical Review Board’s obesity line; I’ll save that argument for another day.

I’m more interested in the features the makers of the mobile sleep study lab didn’t think of.

Like midnight window banging by lot lizards, harassment from local yokels, and random idle inspections from SWAT-like enforcement cops descending from state environmental agencies.

Where’s the urgent message from dispatch about tomorrow’s load, the late night call from spouses stressed by the rug rats at home?

Cuddled under a comforter and dreaming of steering wheel pictures, is the driver more or less likely to be diagnosed with a sleep disorder as reminders to calculate state diesel taxes, make an engine maintenance appointment, and find a place to park in downtown Chicago ping around his sleepy head?

Watch for Land Line’s news analysis piece on the FMCSA Medical Review Board’s decision in the magazine’s July edition.