During American Heart Month, the public is reminded of health risks associated with lifestyle choices, such as smoking and eating unhealthy foods. But there is another cardiac-disease risk factor that should be considered, said Kathy Weaver, director of Cardiopulmonary/Sleep Services at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital (PVCH) in Larned. Since February is heart month, Weaver wanted to share information about sleep disorders.
“There are a few sleep issues that can be associated with heart-related problems, such as atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure,” Weaver said. “Sleep disturbances can also contribute to stroke, high blood pressure, obesity and depression. They can affect daily activities because of fatigue during the day.”
For those who want answers about sleep apnea and other disorders, Weaver and her colleagues are available at the PVCH Sleep & Diagnostic Center. Potential candidates for a sleep study may ask themselves a few questions.
These include: Do I snore loudly? Am I sleepy during the day? Do I quit breathing during sleep? Do I have high blood pressure and/or a body mass index greater than 35? Is my neck circumference greater than 15.75 inches?
“Those interested in a diagnosis are encouraged to contact us. We think they will be impressed with the surroundings here,” Weaver said. “Our accommodations resemble a hotel setting, with comfortable queen-sized beds, pillow-top mattresses and flat-screen TVs. We also have over-sized recliners.
“Patients are offered a shower, along with coffee and a snack before leaving the center in the morning,” she added.
Nick Charles, RPSGT, is the center’s sleep technologist who takes good care of patients, Weaver noted.
“Our patients just love Nick’s outgoing personality,” Weaver commented. “He explains everything he is doing in detail so you have a complete understanding of the procedures. He helps patients feel at home.”
Weaver also noted that patients may bring their own pillows to the center and a snack is offered before bedtime. The center accommodates patients’ sleep schedules.
“Many patients tell us they wish they would have had a sleep study conducted years earlier,” Weaver said. “They didn’t realize they could feel so much better.”
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has accredited the PVCH sleep lab. Dr. Son Truong of Wichita, sleep center medical director, is on site regularly to visit patients.
“Dr. Truong, who is an accredited sleep doctor, works with us one-on- one,” Weaver said.
In addition, Dr. Steven Ronsick and Dr. Manmohan Biring, along with Lesa Klozenbocher, advanced practice registered nurse, are available to sleep-study patients.
“This is a great, patient-oriented team,” Weaver said. “Their expertise is invaluable to our patients.”