FMH Sleep Disorders Center Celebrates First Year
March 25, 2007
Robert Reich prepares a patient for an overnight sleep study to monitor how breathing, heart rate, leg movements, and body position impact sleep.
Disrupted or poor quality sleep can have a profound effect on mood, performance, and ability to function during the day. If you suspect that you, or someone you know, may have a sleep disorder, help is available at Franklin Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center.
The Center, which opened a year ago, is located on the second floor of the hospital. Monday through Saturday night appointments are available.
Staffing the Center is Ralph Harder, MD, a pulmonary physician who is a sleep specialist and associated with Central Maine Pulmonary Associates. Certified respiratory therapists and sleep technologists, Robert Reich and Ruth Turk conduct the overnight sleep studies.
“To fully understand many sleep-related problems, an overnight sleep study should be conducted,” explained Joel Chandler, FMH Supervisor of Cardiopulmonary Services. “During the study, patients are ‘wired for sleep’ to monitor brain activity and body systems such as breathing, heart rate, leg movements and body position, and how they impact sleep.”
According to experts, there are more than 80 recognized sleep disorders. Problems that can be diagnosed from an overnight sleep study include sleep apnea (breath-holding spells during sleep); shallow breathing; leg movements that disturb sleep; teeth grinding (or bruxism); and behavior changes during sleep such as sleep walking or acting out dreams.
After the overnight study, the sleep technologist gives a preliminary morning report to the sleep specialist physician, who will then interpret the findings and make treatment recommendations.
“We are pleased to offer this service to meet our community needs,” Chandler said. “We had a very busy first year at the Center.”
Franklin Memorial Hospital also has partnerships with specialists to provide care in cardiology, diabetes, wound care, orthopedics, pain management, pulmonology, occupational health, sports medicine, oncology, and pediatric endocrinology.
Appointments for the Sleep Center can be made by calling the FMH Cardiopulmonary department at 779-2727 or 1-800-398-6031. A referral from a physician is required.
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