McLeod Medical Center Dillon Sleep Lab


(9/07/11) – McLeod Medical Center Dillon and Carolina Sleep Diagnostics have partnered to provide sleep studies to outpatients at McLeod Dillon serving all patients of Dillon County and surrounding areas.

The two beautiful rooms that make up the Sleep Lab each feature a full-size wood bed, comfortable mattress, plush comforter and soft sheets, and a private bathroom, providing patients with feelings of comfort, relaxation and rest.

Patients requiring a sleep study typically have noticed that they are constantly tired during the day. They may have been told that they snore loudly or stop breathing during sleep. If needed, the individual’s physician will refer them to undergo a sleep study.

Patients arrive at McLeod Medical Center Dillon on the evening of their sleep study between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. to complete registration. Upon arrival to their room, a sleep technician will place "leads" on the patient at different areas to be monitored, which may include brain activity with an electroencephalography (EEG), heart activity with an electrocardiogram (EKG), or the abdomen, muscle tone, or respiratory system function.

Data is sent from these leads to the Control Center where the sleep technician will decipher the data. They will also look for more obvious sleep disturbances including audio clues, such as snoring and loud pauses in breathing, and visual clues, such as shifting, which are transmitted to the Control Center via a video camera and microphone. This data is collected for approximately six hours.

The technicians score and evaluate the data, which is then given to a specialized physicians who read sleep studies. These physicians diagnose the condition and send a report to the patient’s primary care physician.

Sleep Apnea is the most common sleep disorder diagnosed. Sleep Apnea occurs when an adult regularly stops breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or longer. The most common type of Sleep Apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition which occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and block the airway.

Patients who are diagnosed with OSA may be instructed to simply make lifestyle modifications such as lose weight or quit smoking, if their condition is mild. However, if these measures don’t improve one’s condition, or if the condition is moderate to severe, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device may be prescribed. This device delivers air pressure through a mask placed over the nose during sleeping. The air delivered is set to the right amount of pressure to treat the individual’s Sleep Apnea – this level is set during a similar study in which the patient is monitored with a CPAP while the levels of pressure are adjusted until the Sleep Apnea is treated.

Other sleep disorders that are rare include REM behavior disorder (acting out dreams during sleep, including sleepwalking) and narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep).

Dr. Michael Hodge is the Medical Director of the Sleep Lab. Cynthia Pernell, CRT, is the Director.

For more information, please call (843) 841-1220.