ASAA to award 2008 Sleep Apnea Awareness Award

October 20, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
In recognition of their efforts to raise awareness about and the treatment of sleep apnea, the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) will present Jonathan Benumof, M.D., and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) with its 2008 Sleep Apnea Awareness Award on Tuesday, October 21 at the their annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

"The concept behind this award is to honor individuals and organizations outside of the sleep community who promote awareness about sleep apnea," said Mr. Grandi. "It's through such efforts that sleep apnea patients ultimately benefit."

Dr. Benumof was instrumental in developing the ASA's 2006 Practice Guidelines for the Perioperative Management of Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which Mr. Grandi credits with serving as a crucial reference point for hospitals and surgical centers as they work to implement their own sleep apnea protocols.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Benumof became intensely interested in obstructive sleep apnea when he began to receive requests from lawyers to review cases that had perioperative catastrophic outcomes in obese patients who snored and were tired during the day. "As the number of inquiries increased, I became greatly impressed by the breadth and depth of the perioperative sleep apnea problem, and I concluded that it needed national attention and a guideline," said Dr. Benumof.

"We also want to recognize all the members of ASA for what they do," said Mr. Grandi. "We want to encourage them to be strong and empowered, to go out and tell the surgeons about sleep apnea and to work with hospitals on advocating for apnea patients and their families."

Founded in 1990, ASAA is the only non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about sleep apnea and to serving people with this common disorder.

This is the second time the award has been given, said Mr. Grandi, and is presented only when accomplishments of exceptional merit have been recognized.