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Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC

 

Sleep Center

The VISN 4 Eastern Regional Sleep Center at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center is a 4-bed facility that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Services include evaluations in the outpatient sleep disorders clinics as well as in-laboratory and at-home sleep testing using state-of-the-art equipment. An outstanding Sleep Center staff diagnoses and treats Veterans with a wide range of sleep disorders including insomnia, abnormal movement disorders during sleep, and disorders of excessive daytime sleepiness such as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Click on the video below to learn more about sleep apnea.

button for sleep apnea informational video

Home Monitoring Program

In addition to the standard in-laboratory sleep testing performed in the Sleep Center, the center uses portable monitoring equipment that allows Veterans with suspected sleep apnea to perform their sleep evaluations at home. Veterans with clinically suspected sleep apnea are instructed how to apply the sensors at home prior to bedtime. They return or mail the monitors back to the Sleep Center the following day where the recordings are analyzed and interpreted. Click on the video below to learn more about the home monitoring device

thumbnail image button for home monitoring device informational video

Insomnia and Nightmare Program

Many Veterans have insomnia, that is, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Nightmares are also a frequent problem among Veterans. Specialists in the sleep center are trained to evaluate and treat Veterans with these disorders. Behavioral sleep psychologists conduct clinic sessions to provide a VA approved cognitive behavioral therapy program for insomnia.  This consists of several clinic appointments over a 2-3 month period designed to change a person’s sleep-wake pattern without the use of medicines. A similar approach is being used to treat Veterans with nightmares. Another treatment option for Veterans with nightmares is the medicine prazosin.

Telemedicine Program

The Sleep Center is using new technologies to deliver more convenient and timely care to Veterans. Instead of Veterans having to travel to Philadelphia for their care, they are able to be evaluated at their local VA clinic. Patients at their local clinic and the sleep specialist in the sleep center see and talk with each other through video teleconferencing. This novel approach is being used to evaluate and manage Veterans with sleep apnea and insomnia. For further information, contact Dr. Phil Gehrman at 215-823-4435 (option 2).

Research Activities

The Sleep Center serves as a potential resource for any clinical researcher at PVAMC as long as the activity does not interfere with the Sleep Center's routine clinical activities. The Sleep Center is performing research-related home and in-laboratory sleep testing on participants enrolled in research protocols that are approved by the Philadelphia VA Medical Center’s Institutional Review Board. Investigators are charged the technical cost of performing the services. For further information, contact Dr. Sam Kuna, at 215-823-4400.

Educational Activities

The Sleep Center serves as an academic resource to medical students, residents and fellows at the University of Pennsylvania. Medical students and physicians-in-training rotate through the outpatient sleep clinics to learn how to recognize, diagnose and treat various sleep disorders. For further information, contact Sue McCloskey, Nurse Practitioner, at 215-823-5800, ext. 4435 (option 2).

Sleep Study Information for Patients

What You Can Expect During an Overnight Sleep Study in the Sleep Center?

After arriving at the Sleep Center, a sleep technician will apply several sensors to your head, face, and body. These sensors give us information about your breathing, snoring, oxygen level, heart rate, movement during sleep, and sleep stages. You will also be asked to complete several questionnaires. After applying all the sensors, the technician will provide you with a private bedroom for sleeping. The technician will monitor your sleeping and breathing throughout the night.

If the recording in the first portion of the night shows that you have sleep apnea, you may be asked to wear a mask on your face connected to a positive airway pressure device in the second part of the night. Positive airway pressure is the most common treatment of sleep apnea.

In the morning, the technician will awaken you and all sensors will be removed. You will be asked to answer some questionnaires. After your sleep study is completed, you will be contacted by telephone or letter to inform you of the results of the study and recommend management. If you are not contacted within 2 weeks of your study, please call the Sleep Center at 215-823-4435 (option 2).

How to Prepare for an Overnight Sleep Study in the Sleep Center

  1. Bring any medications that you will need to take while at the Sleep Center.
  2. Please arrive on time for your scheduled sleep study.
  3. Bathe or shower before coming to the appointment, paying special attention to the head and neck areas. This will help the sleep study staff apply the monitoring patches for the study.
  4. Avoid using any conditioners, oils, lotions, or makeup prior to arriving for your sleep study. Again, this will help the sleep study staff apply the monitoring patches for the study.
  5. You will NOT be provided dinner at the Sleep Center prior to or during your sleep study. Please eat your evening meal before arriving at the Sleep Center.
  6. You may bring personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap) for use before and after the sleep study. Your personal belongings will be secured during the sleep study in the Sleep Center. Please do NOT bring more than what you will need for personal hygiene in the morning after your sleep study.
  7. You will wear your personal pajamas or hospital gown for the sleep study.
  8. Televisions are available in each bedroom.

Where is the Sleep Center Located?

The Sleep Center is located on the 4th floor of the Medical Center in the east wing of Building 1. Parking is available on level A or B of the parking garage. When you enter the Medical Center lobby from the parking garage, go straight down the long hallway and take the second RIGHT hallway. Walk almost to the end of this second hallway to the elevators located just past the cafeteria near the Police Office. Take these elevators to the 4th floor. When you exit the elevators on the 4th floor, turn LEFT. At the end of the short hallway, turn RIGHT. The Sleep Center is down the hallway on your left.

How Patients Can Obtain Supplies for Their Positive Airway Pressure Treatment?

Patients can obtain supplies for their positive airway pressure apparatus by calling the Sleep Center at 215-823-4435 (option 1). They should receive the supplies in the mail within one week.

Contact Info

Location

  • Philadelphia VA Medical Cetner

Contact Number(s)

  • 215-823-5800 Ext. 4435

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.