WisBusiness: Marshfield Medical Center – Minocqua starts sleep disorder testing

WisBusiness: Marshfield Medical Center – Minocqua starts sleep disorder testing

A newly opened lab at the Marshfield Medical Center in Minocqua will provide testing services for patients with sleep disorders.

The four-bed lab opened last week and offers tests for sleep apnea, wakefulness and sleep latency, which measures how fast it takes the patient to fall asleep. It also provides overnight monitoring of various metrics such as breathing and heart rate. Electroencephalogram testing, which monitors electrical activity in the brain, will be available next month.

Dr. Amit Biswas, a sleep specialist and neurologist who leads the lab, says sleep disorders and sleep apnea in particular are common and can lead to more serious health issues if not treated. He’s been with the health system for more than 20 years, and previously saw patients at the Minocqua care center and used the lab space at Howard Young Medical Center.

“There is an increased risk of strokes and heart disease which can be catastrophic for some patients,” he said in a statement. “Sleep studies can help in diagnosis and treatment of these medical issues, preventing potential long-term complications and disability.”

Marshfield Clinic Health System has other sleep labs in Beaver Dam, Eau Claire, Marshfield, Neillsville, Rice Lake and has plans to open another site in Ladysmith. The new lab is also staffed with three sleep lab technicians, though Director of Communications John Gardner says the Minocqua health center isn’t adding any extra providers. But the system overall has recently added extra sleep specialists that “can conduct outreach services if needed.”

In an email, Gardner said the new lab will “both address the shortage of sleep study services in the region” as well as offering comprehensive sleep medicine services.

“Sleep labs in local communities where our sleep medicine specialists practice also do outreach in other communities, allowing patients to receive care closer to home, rather than travelling to another center or town to have their sleep study done,” he said.