CPAP rep draws on personal history

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When Tom Keville calls on referral sources to talk about obstructive sleep apnea and the benefits of CPAP, he knows what he’s talking about. Nearly four years ago, Keville was diagnosed with OSA. He spoke with HME News recently about how his personal experience helps him in his new job as an account manager at Norwood, Mass.-based Reliable Respiratory.

HME News: Was the OSA diagnosis a surprise?

Tom Keville: Not really. Had I not worked for a respiratory company, I probably would have gone undiagnosed. I self-diagnosed and told my doctor that I had to go in for a sleep study. It just confirmed everything.

HME: How long did it take to adjust to the therapy?

Keville: It took about three weeks. The first mask I tried was so tight I felt like somebody had punched me in the nose. Now, I use CPAP every day and if I travel or forget it, after three days, I start feeling terrible.

HME: How does having OSA help you in your job?

Keville: It really allows me to talk to the doctors from a patient’s point of view. Not only do I use the equipment, but I try everything new that comes out. I’ve worked with clinicians and gone into patients’ homes and understand their issues and concerns.

HME: What advice do you have for newly diagnosed patients?

Keville: Try, try, try. If you can get an hour tonight, an hour tomorrow—just keep trying. The benefits outweigh the risk of not using it. It’s difficult but it can be done and people do it all the time.