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Sleep apnea aggravates risk of workplace injuries

People who feel tired every day at their New Jersey jobs could have an underlying sleep disorder to blame for their fatigue. They also might face an increased chance of a workplace accident or injury. Researchers who counted incidents of workplace injuries among patients diagnosed with sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, found that those people experienced twice the number of on-the-job injuries as those patients with other sleep disorders.

The study examined the results from over 1,200 people that sought treatment at a sleep clinic in British Columbia. The patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea had higher levels of injuries than people with other sleep problems. Sleep apnea causes people to have very disturbed sleep. They awaken multiple times per night when their airways become blocked. When they cannot breathe, they choke, gasp or snore before falling back to sleep. Often, patients do not realize how often they wake up because of their inability to breathe.

Injuries resulting from a lack of vigilance or attentiveness accounted for many of the workplace injuries among sleep apnea patients. According to the study, they experienced more injuries than other sleep patients because of falls, burns, electrical shocks, car accidents, slips or trips. An associate professor of medicine said that people with sleep apnea feel exhausted and this very likely accounts for the increased risk of injuries at work.

Regardless of the cause of a workplace accident, people who are injured on the job may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits that can include medical treatment and a percentage of lost wages.They may value the assistance of an attorney when preparing and submitting the required claim.

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