Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital launches sleep medicine program in Merrill

People who snore excessively or stop breathing during sleep may have sleep apnea.

It is estimated that up to 18 million American adults have sleep apnea which if untreated can increase a person’s risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and work or traffic-related accidents due to daytime fatigue.

Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital has launched a new sleep medicine program meaning people can now receive diagnosis and treatment for sleep disorders locally in Merrill.

Located on the 4th floor of Ascension Good Samaritan, two “Sleep Suites” provide all the comforts of home with a queen size bed, recliner, television and wireless internet service to ensure a comfortable setting to evaluate issues like Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome or any of the 84 known sleep disorders.

“If you or someone you care about is having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or not waking up refreshed, you can talk with your primary care clinician about sleep,” said Kate Blaubach, RRT, lead sleep technician at Ascension Good Samaritan. “A simple screening tool can help determine if a sleep study is the best course of action for your situation.”

Ascension Good Samaritan has teamed with Whitney Sleep Diagnostics & Consultants of Plymouth, Minnesota to launch the sleep program which is a bonus for residents of Lincoln County and the surrounding area.

Each sleep study requires about 6-8 hours of evaluation of breathing, oxygen, heartrate and brain activity. Monitoring Leeds are placed on the head and face and depending on activity, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask can also be utilized for the study. Participants arrive at 8 p.m. and go home or to work after being released at about 7 a.m.

“Sleep medicine continues to grow as a need, so we’re excited about the opportunity to bring this service to Merrill,” said Dawn Gapko, Chief Administrative Officer at Ascension Good Samaritan. “Our patients now have the ability to be tested locally and receive follow up as part of a program that is driven by positive patient outcomes as opposed to simply diagnosing a sleep disorder.”

For more information on Ascension Good Samaritan’s sleep services program, please call 715-539-2364.

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