Cardiac arrhythmia (possibly tachycardia)-waiver possibility?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Privateer, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Privateer

    Privateer Member

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    My son is interested in USMMA and USCGA. He is entering Junior year in HS so we are early in the process.

    While nothing has been diagnosed to date, he on rare occasions gets periods of rapid heartbeat during intense athletics. He is fit in all oher aspects and incidence of it is declining as he has gotten older (now 16). He had a checkup today and is going to visit a cardiologist. Perhaps a heart murmur but too soon to tell. His pediatrician has been aware of it and did not highlight it as a matter of undue concern, but of course not in the context of admission to one of the academies.

    Assuming it is diagnosed as for argement's sake, a mild heart condition, are waivers for something like that ever granted?

    Thanks much for any help.
     
  2. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    This may not be of much help, but here's the DoD's medical standards for entrance into the military. See pages 18-21 for info about the heart.

    http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613003p.pdf


    All I know about waivers is that academies/cadet command decides whether or not the candidate should get a waiver.

    Hope I could help!
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Unfortunately, the only way you'll find out is to go through the process. Start gathering your medical paperwork as you'll need it. Next year, get your stuff in early so that you'll qualify to have your medical exam done quickly (usually get an invitation when 50% of your packet is submitted) and thus will have an answer sooner.

    And, as with every candidate, be sure to have a plan B.
     
  4. brit101

    brit101 Member

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    I'm not sure on the military's end but I'm a nursing student and might I suggest you bring up a possible stress test when you speak with the cardiologist? If all goes well, it may be beneficial to show the military that his heart can withstand the pressure.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    One thing to realize is prior to commissioning they will go through a more intense physical. DS just did it for his UPT slot, will be commissioned in 2012 with the AF. He was sent to Wright Pat for 3 days, one day was an EEG, which was not done when he did his original DodMerb for the AFA/AFROTC.

    I state this because can you imagine it not being found in the beginning, or trying to hide it, but being found just 12 months prior to graduation? You always want to be in front of the issue as much as possible, when possible.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Privateer

    Privateer Member

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    Privateer

    Thank you all for the insights, all are very helpful.

    I was figuring I'd come back in a couple of weeks in the hopes I'd maybe get a lone response, but decided to check in anyway. To my pleasant surprise had your feedback in a matter of a few hours.

    We'll hope and pray for the best, because he is starting to get excited about the prospect of the academies and serving. However if it winds up in disappointment, there will be other paths in life opening up (i.e Plan B as noted).

    This forum is a great resource, and you have already helped us a great deal.

    We will be visiting often in the months to come.

    Privateer
    KC, MO
    USA
     
  7. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    I have truly found paradise! :shake:
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    One other point. There are quite a few conditions that people handle perfectly well every day in "normal" life. However, the military has the potential to be anything but normal. And, the services want as many folks as possible to start out qualified for as many job opportunities as possible b/c, as Pima notes, some folks will be disqualified along the way.

    What I'm saying is that, the fact your civilian doctor says you're fine makes zero difference to the military. DODMERB will decide what, if any, tests they want done and will evaluate the results. The SAs ultimately decide if they want to grant you a waiver for your condition.

    As Larry Mullen of DODMERB always said, your situation is unique. It really doesn't matter if 100/100 people surveyed with similar conditions did or didn't get waivers. You may or may not based on your unique situation. Thus, sadly, the only way to find out is to go through the process.

    And, as noted, for those of you who think you may have a medical issue, get started AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE on your medical evaluation, which means getting at least 50% of your application packet in as soon as possible.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    USNA makes a very good point. This is why these boards light up as often as they do. Many kids may have an issue that a doc does not consider an issue, but the military does.

    I would talk to the cardiologist to find out if they know DodMerb at all. The way the physicals work, is DodMerb sends you to their docs. Now by luck it could be yours, or might not be. If the cardiologist knows DodMerb, than they will most likely look at it from a different approach than just the parent bringing in their 17 yo out of concern. If there is an issue and he is familiar with the regs., he will be able to start the ball rolling earlier. For ex. if he is is dq'd that may require more tests to determine their fate.

    Getting a waiver is not a day in the park. It can be days/weeks/months in the park with intermittent rain and no umbrella. The problem that really comes about is if you don't get that DodMerb done until Dec/Jan. and there is an issue, it could hold up your apptmt for quite sometime.
     

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