Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital Announces Sleep Lab Services
08/05/2008

FORT WORTH, Texas – For the 40 million Americans suffering from chronic sleep disorders each year, trying to fall asleep can be a nightmare.

Even worse, lack of sleep can take a serious toll on health over time, contributing to the development of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To help diagnose and treat potentially serious sleep disorders, Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital will offer sleep lab services, beginning Aug. 4, for conditions such as sleep apnea, excessive snoring, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome.

“Treating a sleep disorder in its early stages can prevent expensive care of a more serious health problem later on,” said Huy Duong, D.O., medical director of the new sleep lab for the hospital. “Our hope is that this diagnostic sleep program will improve our patients’ quality of life.”

Poor sleep due to a disorder can affect everything from our work performance to our personal lives, said Marcy Graves, director of cardiopulmonary services and director of the new sleep lab for the hospital.

“Sleep is what keeps us going every day,” Graves said. “Without it, your brain can’t fully function because it’s not receiving the oxygen it needs. If left untreated, disorders like sleep apnea can stress the heart and even lead to death.”

Sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder, occurs when soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and obstructs breathing during sleep. Sufferers may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more up to 600 times per night. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, very loud snoring, gasping or choking awakenings, non-refreshing sleep and morning headaches.

A good night’s sleep
Treatment plans for conditions like sleep apnea can be formed after an overnight diagnostic sleep study in the hospital’s sleep lab. Patients are placed in a comfortable, private room with a hotel-like atmosphere where they can be studied overnight as they sleep.

During the non-invasive study, trained sleep technicians will attach sensors to the head and body to monitor brain waves, eye movements, respiration, heart rate and muscle activity during sleep. The process is painless and does not involve injections, drugs or X-rays.

Depending upon the type of sleep disorder diagnosed, treatments can include airway pressure appliances, medication, lifestyle changes, weight loss, surgery, laser therapy, dental appliances, light therapy and internal body clock adjustments.

For more information on the hospital’s sleep diagnostic services, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS.

About Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital
Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital (HMSW) has provided quality and compassionate care to the residents of southwest Tarrant County for more than two decades. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMSW is licensed for 230 beds and provides a wide array of comprehensive services, including: surgical and imaging services, 24-hour emergency services, orthopedics and sports therapy, adult critical care and a level 3a neonatal intensive care unit, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiovascular services, cancer care, rehabilitation, and more. HMSW is home to 578 members of the medical staff, 992 employees and 120 volunteers. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.texashealth.org/hmsw.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.