Sleep Apnea Concerns In Commercial Drivers

In compliance with Department of Transportation, commercial drivers are required to carry an up-to-date medical card. This card is to be issued by a FMCSA provider. As a fully certified clinic we see over 20 drivers per day and receive lots of questions regarding the hot topic of BMI and Sleep Apnea testing for drivers.

Although there is not a clear FMCSA regulation currently, the annual conference, which our own Dr. Alexander attended, strongly encouraged us to notify and slowly enforce the extra sleep apnea testing. Medical Card applicants are now additionally screened using the BMI test.

If your neck size is larger than 17 inches, or your BMI is 35 or greater, sleep apnea testing will be encouraged. Our current policy is not to deny any medical cards but instead have a pending 90-day period. During this period the applicant is required to complete the sleep study. If the sleep study is completed and passed, the commercial driver will be given the card.

Our slow enforcement will be brought to a halt when final FMCSA regulations are put in order. As an employer, this could drastically affect your workers. With regulations potentially coming with the new year, it is imperative to take advantage of our current grace period. Once the ruling is enforced, our 90-day period will have to be revoked and drivers will be failed immediately.  If you have questions or concerns about FMCSA regulations or I & O Medical Centers’ stance on the matter, please contact your local client representative.