Diagnostics - Outpatient service for sleep disorders

The sleep medical outpatient service provides a link between external physicians in private practice and the in-patient sleep laboratory. The sleep laboratory was found in 1991 first as an outpatient service for patients with sleep-related breathing disorders. Now it is a contact point for adults and children with all kinds of sleep-wake disorders. Around 5000 patients per year are treated here.
Medical colleagues can advise their patients to our sleep center and make an appointment by phone (a referral letter should be issued) for the clarification of sleep disorders. The patients can also directly set up an appointment by phone. Here is the link to our consultation hours.

What happens during the first appointment at the outpatient service?

During your first visit to the outpatient service of our center you are going to have a medical interview with one of our specialists concerning your sleep-wake behavior. If needed the following examinations would be carried out: lung function test, electrocardiogram,  blood test or an X-ray of the lungs. Usually you receive a portable sleep recording device for home use during one night. While asleep the device records the most important functions of your body, such as heartbeat, breathing, oxygen concentration in blood and actigraphy. Our patient care staff explains you how to apply the device properly before going to bed in the evening or if needed you could get the device applied right away. Thereafter you can go home and continue your normal day schedule. The device does not disturb you even if it is already attached to your body. The next morning you will have to bring it back to the outpatient service and after a short recorded data anlysis the doctor is going to discuss the results with you. For these 2 days of examination at our center you can receive a certificate for being investigated by medical service.
Further evaluations such as sleep diary and actigraphy could be recommended if needed. 

What do I have to bring to the outpatient consultation?

Please bring a transfer form from your primary care physician or another specialist to the Sleep Medicine Center of Charité. Additionally you would need your medical insurance card. Patients with private medical insurance need only a medical insurance certificate. 

With the set up of a praxis fee of 10€ you could also come to the consultation without the transfer form from your doctor after a privous agreement per telephone. 

Sleep Laboratory

The next step after the outpatient consultation in case of doctor's indication is an assignment to our sleep lab, where further tests are taking place. Our sleep lab department has 10 single rooms available, where the monitored cardiorespiratory Polysomnography (PSG) could be performed at night. This examination is a so called standard diagnostic procedure in sleep medicine.  If needed additional tests are going to be conducted at the sleep lab: for example, blood pressure measurement, long-term ECG, 10-20 EEG, CO2 measurement (at night), objective measurement of fatigue during the day with the help of MWT - Maintenance of wakefulness test or MSLT - Multiple sleep latency test (during the day) or Cognitive performance test (Reaction time test, driving simulator, Quatember-Maly-Test). The results are then discussed with the patient directly at the sleep lab or at the ambulance and are communicated to the primary care physician. The admission at the sleep lab takes place in the early afternoon, the preparation for the measurements at night is appr. at 8 p.m. and the light-off time is normally between 9 p.m. and midnight. After the polysomnography at night you could be advised for the day tests and if necessary the second dignostic night is recommended. Patients with further adjustment of the CPAP or another therapy are spending two more nights at the sleep lab. For your stay at the sleep lab please bring a prescription order, your night clothes, personal toiletries, reading material or a personal pillow. During free time during the day or in the evening you might also use a TV in your room. 

 

Time schedule at the sleep lab:

For diagnostic study: 1-3 nights
For therapy adjustment: 1-3 nights
For control/optimization of therapy: 1-2 nights
For 10-20 EEG derivation: 3-4 nights

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