International Sleep awareness Week

March 18, 2009

Organized for the last eight years by INSV as part of International Sleep Awareness Week, National Sleep Day will take place Wednesday, March 18, 2009, under the patronage of the French Ministry of Health and Sport.

VitalAire is committed to working side-by-side with INSV* to promote awareness of sleep disorders and support sleep apnea patient care.

Sleep Apnea is an under-diagnosed disorder. Sleep apnea affects 5% of the world’s adult population, 8 out of 10 sleep apneics are unaware of their condition. An apnea is a breathing pause of at least 10 seconds. People are diagnosed with sleep apnea when they have five or more apneas per hour of sleep.

During the night, patients snore, usually quite loudly, and experience frequent breathing pauses that are noticeable and often worrisome to their partners. This results in low-quality sleep, and during the day they have a tendency to fall asleep very easily, significantly increasing the risk of motor vehicle or work-related accidents.

The standard treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The patient breathes in air via a nasal mask, with the help of a medical device equipped with a small turbine. This “pneumatic splint” keeps the patient’s respiratory passages open, normalizing breathing, correctly oxygenating the blood during sleep, improving sleep quality, relieving drowsiness, and ameliorating the patient’s general health.

Operating in more than 30 countries around the world, Air Liquide is a major player in the homecare industry. VitalAire is Air Liquide’s global homecare brand.

*INSV: a national institute devoted to promoting sleep and its disorders as part of public health (Institut National du Sommeil et de la Vigilance)