What are the guidelines regarding driving for the average patient with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

No recent evidence-based guidelines are available regarding driving for the average patient with OSA. The most recent statement on this topic is from 1994. [74]

One approach to this problem outlined in the 1994 statement is the concept of shared responsibilities. Educating the patient about the risks of driving while sleepy or inattentive is the physician’s responsibility. One suggestion is that the patient acknowledges this education by signing a statement to that effect. After receiving proper education, the patient’s responsibilities are to avoid driving while sleepy and, preferably, to refrain from driving until starting treatment for OSA.

Physicians should be referred to their individual state or country motor vehicle departments for local guidelines.


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