Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Sleep Center Receives Accreditation from American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is home to the largest, accredited pediatric sleep center in Southern California

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Sleep Center Receives Accreditation from American Academy of Sleep Medicine

<0> Children's Hospital Los AngelesEllin KavanaghOffice: (323) 361-8505E-mail: </0>

The Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has recently received accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This certification recognizes Children’s Hospital as a center of highest quality care for pediatric patients with sleep disorders.

“Children need a sleep center so they can be evaluated for difficulty breathing during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, unusual symptoms during sleep and difficulty falling or staying asleep,” notes Sally Ward, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center. “Being an accredited center recognizes more than just the Sleep Lab—it recognizes that we have the best technology, staff and practices to care for all types of pediatric sleep disorders.”

Untreated sleep disorders can raise the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, especially in young patients who may continue to experience sleep disruptions throughout their life. These disturbances, along with the rise in pediatric sleep apnea associated with the childhood obesity epidemic, make the role of a sleep lab invaluable to the overall health of children and families.

At the Sleep Center of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the largest AASM-accredited pediatric sleep lab in Southern California, around 1500 patients each year are evaluated for sleep-related disorders. The Center is staffed by triple-board certified sleep experts Sally Ward, MD, Iris Perez, MD, Salman Khan, MD, and Eugene Sohn, MD, who are experienced in diagnosing a variety of conditions, from obstructive sleep apnea to narcolepsy. These disruptions prevent a fully restorative night’s sleep and can lead to behavioral problems, mood disorders and daytime inattention. The expert sleep professionals also specialize in monitoring sleep patterns in high-risk children with Down’s syndrome, mid-face or jaw abnormalities and cerebral palsy, frequently treating patients that other centers turn away.

In addition to the four physicians, a group of licensed technicians, respiratory care practitioners and registered nurses are part of the Sleep Center team and perform sleep studies seven nights a week. They also perform multiple sleep latency tests, which measure the elapsed time between lying down and falling asleep during daytime naps—a determination of narcolepsy symptoms. These sleep-monitoring techniques are all noninvasive and allow the technicians to observe numerous indicators of sleep distress, including the patient’s heart rate, oxygen levels, and rapid-eye movements. Technicians are also able to isolate periods of snoring and abnormal movements for further study. Sleep centers with experienced professionals are critical in identifying the underlying causes of sleep issues, which can be as severe as life-threatening hypoxia, as well as maintaining and establishing healthy sleep habits.

“Pediatric sleep disorders can have profound effects on a child’s well being," says Brent Polk, MD, director of The Saban Research Institute and physician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “This accreditation by the AASM recognizes that our Sleep Center provides cutting-edge sleep medicine to children by combining our experience with top-notch resources and current advances in sleep medicine.”

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Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States, is one of America's premier teaching hospitals and has been affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932.

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