• Site Supporter

Bad Sleep Study Experience with Tech

This area is for discussion of Sleep Studies used in the evaluation of Sleep Apnea.

Bad Sleep Study Experience with Tech

Postby Nightsbadmornworse » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:18 pm

I've been diagnosed with complex sleep apnea (two types--~ 60 episodes a night). I went to a Boston based sleep clinic in a hospital. I'll keep it vague for now. It is my third sleep study so I consider myself a vet.

The technician, although overtly friendly, was actually quite brusk. She put the leads on by scoring my skin with a pencil quite harshly ( I'm a grown man, not frail) and trust me she caused pain. Despite communicating this clearly, she continued this poor method.

Soon after, when wiring was to occur, she had me sit in the chair facing a closed curtain, and left for about ten minutes (her remark was don't move). What a bad way to start, literally held captive in a chair so to speak --she could have given me the option to move--then when ever she had me do something she'd tell me to lift my legs and then say "not yet". She'd say sit up..then say not yet. Talk about mixed frustrating messages and abuse of power.

Later around 11, she just plopped a mask on my face, no questions of comfort or adjustment, told me to shut my phone off (no night light in room) and harshly said "this is a study!" I told her that my previous study at the same site I'd been given time and relaxation means.....I'd been in other clinics where, if need be, you can turn lights on, tv if you can't sleep etc....the vibe is to get yourself relaxed to have a good nights sleep. She had me shooting adrenaline the whole night due to the patient mistreatment. She literally had me end a call to a loved one without allowing closure.

The mask she placed on me -- hurt like hell (bridge of the nose, lips, nose between nostrils. Finally after some complaining and wiggling she tried mask two (smaller , lower on nose (this leaked air). Not once did she ask me to help adjust it or to adjust for comfort. At one point she pulled the straps tight telling me it was "loose". Ouch!She would ask me questions with the mask over my face ( like a dentist talking to you with a finger in your mouth or that suck the saliva thing) and then act like she couldn't understand me--which was probably true.

A third mask was tried (nostril buds and mouth coverage) and she never tried to place the buds in my nose proper. I asked about smaller buds and her response was that I had big nostrils thus needing these monster buds? Again pain on mouth, between nostrils -- how could I sleep. I want to emphasize something--the actual machine (ASV) was not uncomfortable..thus the experience of a mask or air was not bothersome. The pain of her placement and care was! When she would replace equipment she'd lay it over my groin (Plop plop) just further debasement.

I woke throughout the night. She just remarked that everything was fine and questioned why I had a bad night? Nurse Ratched or tech ratched......I went to brush my teeth and literally had blood in my mouth (from the tight mouth piece). Also my throat and mouth was bone dry despite the unit having water in it--had she not turned the humidier option on?

I am calling the facilty (a hospital). I am a health professional myself--degreed all that. I was polite to the tech throughout the night (the vulnerable patient phenomenon--boxers, pajamas, in a bed...) I technically have the ability to self advocate--others who are older, frail or have other problems would have been far worse. Although there are some great sleep techs out there, I am very scared that there is no doctor there at night, no official supervisor nurse etc.....

I also saw, in the morning, the two techs rolling their eyes and gesturing to another patient room ( very bad non verbal communication about whoever suffered in there). Try to check out the milieu somehow or other wherever you go. This is a strange profession--demanding folks who will work a harsh overnight....and sometimes it sort of gets a bad crew or a few rotten apples.

Should the mask literally hurt while in the sleep clinic itself and throughout the night?
Did they even get data? No one told me whether there was enough sleep and no docs there on friday. I won't go back there again but yet I am a person with close to 60 episodes per hour , morning depression and anxiety etc....I need the machine which I'll get but again I'm terrified to go back to that clinic again if her actions screwed up my study. I don't think I slept more than one continuous hour. I've been run down beyond my usual due to this horrific night!

Other's with bad Boston Hospital experience (name of place not identified).
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:57 pm
Year Diagnosed: 2008

Re: Bad Sleep Study Experience with Tech

Postby Linda » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:09 pm

That's most unfortunate, such a bad tech experience, not good.

But you know, you need not go back for another titration. The diagnosis is from the first study or the part without cpap. The titration (study with cpap) is good to have, particularly if there any special circumstances in getting a good pressure determined. But a good cpap machine for home, one that provides efficacy should be enough. And if there should be a needed reason to have another titration, make your concern known and ask not to have that tech.

User avatar
Posts: 6044
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:54 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Bad Sleep Study Experience with Tech

Postby Ren » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:36 pm

I'm so sorry that you had such a horrible experience! I've had three different sleep studies so far at two different centers and even my worst experience wasn't nearly as bad as you described.

Yes, sleep centers should be trying to get patients as comfortable as possible so they can get accurate sleep data. If your mask shouldn't hurt you or be that painful and it sounds like some of that may have come from how the tech placed your mask. Thankfully there are a lot of different masks to choose from and I'm hoping you can find one that works well for you. To a different point, after getting my second sleep study I realized that my body straps were too tight in the first study and the nose piece was painfully poking me in the nostrils when it shouldn't have. My last two sleep studies were much more comfortable, pain free events. I don't see any reason why pain should be involved during a sleep study. It is odd/uncomfortable enough to get wired up like we do!

If I were in your shoes I would never go to that particular hospital for a sleep study again. For one, beyond the horrible tech you got, you saw an indication of a potentially pervasive problem that could account for some of your techs attitude. Secondly, it doesn't seem to me that a hospital environment is the best to get accurate results. Both sleep centers I went to had rooms that were very similar to hotel rooms to make the patients more comfortable and allow them to relax. Is this how they set up their rooms? I will say, at the two sleep centers I went there didn't appear to be a doctor on site and if there was a head nurse I wasn't aware of it, but all three nights I got good techs. This is your decision though. Listen to yourself! Hopefully you have other options out there.

In the meantime ask for a copy of your results yourself. That should give you a better indication of what data they did capture.
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Bad Sleep Study Experience with Tech

Postby Nightsbadmornworse » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:50 pm

HI folks,
I spent some time consulting with the Md's and was at least reassured that I was under long enough and the machine ramping up for the two events to correlate.

Ideally I would go but, as folks might imagine, the war with the insurance company can be hell. I was rejected by my major HMO for the study initially and lo and behold, after fighting for the study-I turn out to have severe complex apnea.
The HMO told me I'd have to have my doctor refer me elsewhere and offered no sympathy regarding the poor treatment. I am told by others that there are rough folks out there doing the studies nationally-just under reported. I agree with the person above--I"m now on a machine at home and hopefully in a week or two or three, new data will pump in via the modem / cell device , to the clinic and I'll be adjusted appopriately.

I will fight going back there at all costs though--despite it being a big city hospital.
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:57 pm
Year Diagnosed: 2008

Re: Bad Sleep Study Experience with Tech

Postby ChrisMcCoy » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:38 pm

That whole experience sounds like a nightmare. And there shouldn't be pain from wearing the mask. You have your diagnosis to get treated. If you get an APAP (Or Auto CPAP? AutoPAP? Whatever it's called), you don't need titration. The device automatically titrates itself, so you don't have to go into the lab for adjustments. All I had to do was talk on the phone with a sleep tech for setting it up, and I get a call if the device is reporting issues. Try switching to an APAP if you want to avoid having to go back to the lab from hell. My doctor referred me to a testing company called Aviisha and I got tested and treated from home. No nurse Ratchet issues, thankfully.
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:51 pm
Machine: System One Remstar Auto CPAP
Mask: Swift FX
Humidifier: Yes
Year Diagnosed: 2012

  • Site Supporter

Return to Sleep Studies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

  • Site Supporter