The American Sleep Apnea Society is all about preventing the individual and societal consequences of untreated sleep apnea.
Catastrophic Consequences of Sleep Apnea
On the morning of December 1st, 2013, a Metro-North passenger train derailed in the Bronx. Four passengers were killed and 115 were injured. It was the most deadly crash in over 20 years in New York City. Dr. Michael Morgenstern, was on his way to work as a sleep medicine fellow at North Shore LIJ, when he heard of the accident. When Dr. Morgenstern heard of the crash he suspected a sleep disorder might be the culprit. It was later confirmed that the driver of the train suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnea that was undiagnosed.
Founding of the American Sleep Apnea Society
There is a need to help prevent the individual and societal consequences of sleep apnea. On August 24, 2014, the American Sleep Apnea Society was incorporated in the State of New York by Dr. Morgenstern. It is a nonprofit organization and recognized by the IRS as a 501-c-3 tax-exempt institution.
Underdiagnosed sleep apnea
It turns out that undiagnosed Sleep Apnea like that found in the driver of the Metro North train derailment isn’t the exception but the rule. Nearly, 80% of individuals with moderate and severe forms of sleep apnea aren’t aware that they have it.
Apnea is a ticking time bomb
Untreated sleep apnea is responsible for heart attacks, strokes and a host of other medical conditions. What is perhaps infinitely more dangerous are the risks of preventable catastrophes including train derailments, plane crashes and environmental disasters. Undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea are like ticking bombs. With each diagnosed and treated case a potential bomb is diffused, damage is averted and lives are saved.