Camden hospital treats specific type of sleep apnea with new device

Lynne Adkins
February 19, 2019 - 4:00 am

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CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — A new device is helping some get a good night's sleep.

There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by a blockage of the upper airway and is often treated with a CPAP machine, and a lesser-known type, central sleep apnea (CSA). 

Dr. John Andriulli, director of the Arrhythmia Device Program at Cooper University Health Care, said CSA occurs when the brain stops sending a signal to the muscles that make us breathe. Now, there's a new treatment to send that signal.

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"(It's) a pacemaker-type device that is implanted, usually on the right side of the patient's chest up in the shoulder area, and it usually has several leads to which senses the respiratory pattern and subsequently paces the diaphragm," Andriulli explained.

Until now, there was no practical treatment for this type of sleep apnea. 

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The device, called the remede System, is "more a central process to which the brain actually stops telling the diagram to breathe," he added, "and the patients stop breathing on that basis."