Wednesday, January 12, 2011

White paper?

Dictionary.com lists 42 different definitions for the word white.

There might be just as many forms of the term “white paper.”

White papers are sometimes academic, though quite often they’re little more than marketing tools printed on white paper – used to help pitch a product or lobby for an idea.

Which brings us to a recent “white paper,” and I use that term loosely, regarding sleep apnea and a company which promises to help drivers with “their unhealthy lifestyles” (their words).

ACS outlines the seven steps its product requires of drivers so they can prove they’ve been treated for apnea.

I’ll let the “white paper” speak for itself.

“In order to stay up long hours, many drivers smoke and eat junk food to ease road boredom. The daily environment of an over the road driver can be lonely and mundane. Eating and smoking tend to alleviate some of the anxiety caused by being away from home. … Most Truck Load drivers deprive themselves of years of living due to their unhealthy life style.”

Hmmm. Rather than quote any science here, they’re going to play armchair psychologist and leap from truckers being lonely, to truckers eating and smoking, to depriving themselves of being healthy, to not sleeping well.

That’s certainly one person’s unsupported assertion.

Of course, they failed to explore major concerns of drivers that hurt sleep and stress levels; things like a lack of safe parking, restrictive idling bans, and shipper and receiver issues.

The paper goes on to estimate that 86 percent of drivers are overweight, which is up markedly from other credible estimates of 55 percent.

As Land Line Magazine has reported, ties between medical supply companies, academic researchers and others – including one U.S. Senator – have been detailed.

Because ACS is “a Xerox company,” one can’t help but think the publicly traded giant wouldn’t mind truckers being required to purchase their products.

“With ACS on the driver and carrier’s side, the chances of waking a sleeping giant is increasing rapidly,” the paper says.

Instead of publishing more, ahem, white papers – ACS would do well by truckers to get facts straight and refrain from lobbying for more restrictions drivers must deal with.

Hinting that drivers are “Sleeping Giant(s)” and judging lifestyles doesn’t help oxygen levels or sleep cycles of anyone, and doesn’t solve real problems that do affect driver health.

7 comments:

  1. Recently went thru a dot physical where the Dr. asked me if I sleep in the same room as my wife. I knew right away where he was comeing from and told him it was none of his concern as sleep apnea is not yet a law. I think the Dr's and hospitals are just trying to boost revenue. By the way I am 68 yo. and not over weight. Just my 2 cents

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  2. I've questioned the term 'white paper' after seeing it used specifically in terms of trying to 'prove' a majority of truck drivers have sleep apnea (they dont)- simply to influence legislation. Once again, this 'white paper' is an obvious marketing scam. The original '28% of truck driver have some form of sleep apnea'wasnt true to begin with . . and this 'white paper' claims it's now up to over 40%? One of the major reasons health care costs in the United States are so high is that special interests are allowed to create a problem where none exists to create a perceived need for their products. All of the noise they've created over sleep apnea in the industry has doctors running scared . . .they're afraid there's a medical condition they've been missing all these years and are encouraged by the medical device pushers to get on the bandwagon. Carriers are using this to cover the fact that their inhumane systems actually cause driver health problems and as a way to screen out older, more expensive drivers before they develop medical conditions that cost them money. Thank you for calling them out on this!

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  3. I have been "diagnosed" with sleep apnea...However I asked the Dr. if maybe they could clear up my excess phlem and post nasal drip that I'll bet is the "obstruction". Pooh poohed on that by Dr....THEN when one gets the machine, they have a automatic ship on the supplies as they are supposed to wear out at certain times....NOT so. I stopped the auto ship and told them that I will order when I feel I need them.
    I quit smoking 9 years ago and gave up soda and fries over a year ago. I guess this is my 4 cents :)

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  4. There is no more honesty and integrity with these companies and politicians anymore. Talk about depressing!?! Maybe if they actually practiced what they preached and started serving us instead of #%$&@!# us every chance they get, we'd actually prosper instead of perish!

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  5. Fedex thinks this is next best thing to sliced bread. If all laws were left up for Fedex to mandate wouldn't any of us have a job. Another driver told me if they ask or you see it on the form "Do You Snore", say no and mark it no or you will be deemed by the company(with no medical reasoning behind it) to have sleep apnea and will be punished in kind for having this terrible disease. You will have to go to the quack company doctor at your expense and your job may be in jeopardy if you fail to follow through with the treatment.

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  6. There are many causes of a person not getting good rest such as the person who mentioned post nasal drip. Let me add allergies, parking lot noise and pain to that list. I have spoken with both my primary care physician and my cardiologist (I have bad sinus drainage, atrial fibrilation due to stress and have allergies) and both do not think I have sleep apnea, or think I need to have a sleep study; both think I would show false results due to other medical conditions. Sleep apnea is the disease du jour in the medical and medical manufacturing world and is one of the biggest money grabs targeting truck drivers in a long time. In addition to the medical device manufacturers, the medical clinics stand to make millions on sleep studies. Furthermore, sleep apnea is another way for the insurance companies to discriminate against older, less healthy drivers therefore lowering their costs. This 'white paper' needs to be shredded and recycled.

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  7. Charlie, Great work on this article. I'm glad someone has called them out on it. Janet and I have always been amazed at how some folks can invent something and convince you that you need it using scare tactics and un supported claims.

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