chapter  24
20 Pages

Legal Implications of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Daniel B. Brown

INTRODUCTION The legal implications of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) derive principally from the debilitating effects of the disease on a patient's general health and wakeful actions. Medical science concludes that OSA causes sleep fragmentation, nocturnal hypoxia, and hypersomnia, which impairs daytime functioning, including work and driving performance (1,2). Untreated, the disease is an independent risk factor for cardio­ vascular diseases (3) and, in certain situations, can lead to death (4).