Sentara Bayside Hospital Expands Sleep Disorder Center
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Sentara Bayside Hospital Expands Sleep Disorder Center 

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Virginia Beach, VirginiaAugust 15, 2007- Sentara Bayside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center adds two sleep study rooms and a board certified sleep specialist Dr. Fletcher Pierce to increase service to area patients suffering with sleep disorders. The expanded sleep laboratory — now with six beds instead of four—increases study capacity by 50% and offers 575 more patients each year speedier diagnosis and treatment for the full spectrum of sleep disorders.

“Adding Dr. Pierce, a very experienced sleep specialist to our team, means we’re able to help even more patients lead healthier lives through a good night’s sleep, something they may not have had for years,” says sleep specialist and the center’s medical director Dr. Anthony Quaranta.

Losing more than a good night’s sleep
Maria Olivieri was missing out on some essentials of life. Family and friends noticed the 83-year-old nodding off in the middle of conversations, while eating, during weekly bingo, and even during live performances by grandkids. For more than 25 years, Olivieri suffered with untreated sleep apnea, a disorder in which she stopped breathing during sleep. While her body awakened her just enough to restart breathing, the result was uncontrollable sleepiness throughout the day.

Until a recent sleep study at Sentara Bayside Sleep Disorders Center, no one would have guessed Olivieri’s body awakened her more than 100 times an hour to restart her breathing.

“My children didn’t want to take me out, because I would fall asleep at the table or in the middle of a conversation,” says Olivieri.

After beginning treatment with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine at night, Olivieri says, “Now I’m able to stay awake to watch my grandson. He’s a wonderful pianist and plays beautiful. You really don’t want to miss it.”

“Improper sleep can affect everything from productivity at work and safe driving to a person’s overall health,” says Quaranta, who recognizes the seriousness of sleep and oxygen deprivation associated with sleep apnea.

Results from oxygen deprivation of sleep apnea:
Insomnia, restless sleep 
 Heart disease, heart failure, or heart abnormalities such as arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) 
 Stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), and other cardiovascular system problems 
 Type II diabetes 
 Memory problems, learning difficulties, and lack of attention 
 Rapid weight gain and obesity
 Impotence, sexual dysfunction, or reduced libido 
 Morning headaches 
 Sevenfold increase in involvement in auto accidents 
 Premature death, such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

New Physician at Bayside Sleep Disorder Center
Dr. Fletcher Pierce, a fellowship trained pulmonologist and critical care specialist, becomes the third sleep specialist based at Sentara Bayside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center. He recently joined Sentara Medical Group and begins in the sleep center mid August. He earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN after graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee. He completed an internship in internal medicine at San Diego Naval Hospital and his residency at Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth where he later served as pulmonary, critical care and sleep staff physician and associate director of the Boice Sleep Disorder Laboratory.

Sentara Bayside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center opened in 2002 with four beds. The expanded sleep center, with a total of six beds and its third sleep specialist, diagnoses and treats hundreds of patients each year with everything from insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs to narcolepsy, sleep walking, and night terrors.


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