Health Alert: New patch for sleep apnea, new guidelines for cardiac emergencies on planes

In this week's health alert, we have some good news if you're one of the 22 million people in the U.S. who suffer from sleep apnea and new guidelines are being proposed for cardiac emergencies on planes.

In this week's health alert, we have some good news if you're one of the 22 million people in the U.S. who suffer from sleep apnea and new guidelines are being proposed for cardiac emergencies on planes. 

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A clinical trial finds that a new, disposable diagnostic patch effectively detects obstructive sleep apnea across all severity levels.

Weighing less than an ounce, the wearable Somna Patch is comfortable, easy to use and does not negatively affect sleep -- like some home sleep diagnostic devices currently on the market. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine along with NIH will use the study results to gain FDA approval.

This summer will be one of the busiest for air travelers. To ensure passenger health safety, new guidelines are being proposed by an association of European anesthesiologists to handle cardiac emergencies on planes.

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While cardiac arrest accounts for less than three tenths of in-flight emergencies, they do result in 86 percent of the cases that end in death.

In 2016, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died after suffering an in-flight cardiac arrest.

Among the guidelines being recommended:

  • the AED and ECG equipment be on all flights
  • 2-person CPR be performed if possible
  • the crew receive regular basic life support training
  • the plane be diverted immediately if necessary

The group will be contacting individual airlines directly, asking them to incorporate the guidelines into their emergency procedures.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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