Need some help on official sources re asthma

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Spud, May 6, 2015.

  1. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    A physician friend approached me regarding his sons (both sharp young men) getting an appointment to the Naval Academy but in the course of conversation mentioned that both have used inhalers after age 13. I have read of the trials of this situation of many candidates on this forum and my guess is that they will not pass the DODMERB physical. However, rather than guess on something I am a complete ignoramus on and am instructed by USNA to stay out of as a BGO, I would rather he read the OFFICIAL, not opinion, DODMERB guidance on this and make up his own mind on whether to encourage his sons. So my request is: Does anybody have a link to this information I can refer him too?
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    SPUD,
    Type in this line and should take you to a 2011 PDF on DOD asthma standards- DoD Instruction 6130.03, April 28, 2010;

    Applicants will fill out the pre-DODMERB questionnaires. If applicable via diagnoses they will check asthma (and other applicable issues) and forms provide areas to explain further. Understanding is DODMERB evaluates applicants using DOD medical standards. After review DODMERB will mark applicants: qualified; or remedial for more information; or Disqualified. Understanding is individual branch (ROTC/Academy) then makes determination as to waiver process regarding those DQd. He could also reach out to DODMERB help desk for possible guidance. Worst they can say is cannot help him. Good luck to your friend's sons.

    From DOD:

    Airway hyper responsiveness including asthma (493.xx), reactive airway disease,
    exercise-induced bronchospasm (519.11) or asthmatic bronchitis (493.90), reliably diagnosed
    and symptomatic after the 13th birthday.
    (1) Reliable diagnostic criteria may include any of the following elements: substantiated
    history of cough, wheeze, chest tightness, and/or dyspnea which persists or recurs over a
    prolonged period of time, generally more than 12 months.
    (2) Individuals DO MEET the standard if within the past 3 years they meet ALL of the
    criteria in subparagraphs 11.d.(2)(a)-(d).
    (a) No use of controller or rescue medications (including, but not limited to inhaled
    corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or short-acting beta agonists).
    (b) No exacerbations requiring acute medical treatment.
    (c) No use of oral steroids.
    (d) A current normal spirometry (within the past 90 days), performed in accordance
    with American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines and as defined by current National Heart,
    Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) standards
     
  3. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Many thanks, I greatly appreciate the info---this is the type of stuff I was looking for. Second question, though, where do I find the amplifying information regarding the different disorders identified by: (493.xx), (519.11), and (496.90)? I assume those are the identifying numbers of other instructions pertaining to the disorders. And since beggars are being extravagant here, where would I find the number of the help desk at DODMERB? Oops, I think I found it: 800-841-2706. Is this a good one or is there a better one?
     
  4. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    Here is DODMERB information. That is the right toll free number. But it is supposed to be automated system.
    Below is email address also, along email tocurrent Director Mullen.
    Note: Past director Dr. Merchant (retired military doctor who has a for profit business assisting applicants with DODMERB).

    Last is link on expanding expanded pdf on Army standards. I do not have info on the specific codes.


    usaf.dodmerb.helpdesk@mail.mil or call the HelpDesk.
    DoDMERB, 8034 Edgerton Drive, Suite 132, USAF Academy, CO 80840-2200
    (Note: DoDMERB is a tenant unit located at the U.S. Air Force Academy)

    Since 1 January 2009, DoDMERB has tripled the number of trained Help Desk colleagues that are available to assist you. Also, this website allows the applicants to check on their medical status. This information is updated every 10 minutes. DoDMERB receives between 800-1000 phone calls per day, so the website may be a preferred method for your inquiries.
    DoDMERB’s office hours for phone service are from 6:15 AM to 3:45 PM Mountain Time, Monday-Friday, excluding federal holidays. Due to the large number of calls we receive daily, DoDMERB utilizes a phone tree answering system to expedite orientation of your call.
    Telephone Numbers:
    Main Phone: 719-333-3562 or toll free at 800-841-2706
    Phone Tree:
    Press 1= For an information regarding our website
    Press 2= Help Desk
    Press 3= Help Desk
    Press 4= Help Desk
    Press 5= Military Treatment Facility Liaison
    Press 6= For an information recording of how to obtain a copy of your examination
    Press 7= To listen to the full menu again

    DODMERB director is lawrence.e.mullen.civ@mail.mil

    Former DODMER director is Dr. Glenn Merchant, USMC/USN retired. He is a private physician who runs DODMERB consultants, provides DODMERB guidance for fee.

    [PDF] Standards of Medical Fitness - Army Publishing Directorate - U.S. Army
    www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r40_501.pdf
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    A couple of things.

    1. MullenLE recently posted his new contact info, and it is way longer than that address, so if not re-directed you might want to research for his new email. look under MullenLE posts.
    2. He is a director, it might be just be me, but but I wouldn't go that route just yet because the candidate has yet to even have the exam. I would agree that going to to a consultant might be wise right now.

    Now for the other part, my advice, and that is worth nothing, I would say as the parent is a doctor to have their child take a spirometry or methancoline test. (sp) If they can use their connections and find a retired military doc to perform it, that may help because they would know the standards. The results showing that they passed the exam from a military doc may help.

    The reason why I suggest this is Larry Mullen can't help yet since the exam has yet to be given. The red flag will go up for the inhaler. However, having those records from these specific tests will be an asset if a remedial or DQ comes down.

    Finally, as a BGO, I would reach out to MullenLE, but from a different perspective. I would ask him to give you connections for your candidates as a BGO going through the DoDMERB process.
    ~ IE is there a USNA direct number compared to other branches. Maybe it is like Tri Care and it is regionals, such as, certain states that handle it. Think SA and RDs, they are broken down not only by region, but last name initial. Is there a direct number that deals with remedials? Direct numbers that only deal with certain issues...allergies, vision, surgeries, etc.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  6. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Spud, the codes you refer to are Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) diagnostic codes that are used by the insurance industry for billing purposes. I’m not sure that the CPT guide itself is free on-line but you can Google CPT 519.11 for instance and the verbiage will come up.
     
  7. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    [QUOTE="(d) A current normal spirometry (within the past 90 days), performed in accordance
    with American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines and as defined by current National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) standards[/QUOTE]

    My dd's asthma has been inactive for more than six years. When my dd announced she planned to apply to the academies, I figured the biggest obstacle would be the DODMERB. So one of the first things we did was get the spirometry test this past January, which she passed. Pun intended... she's breathing easier about her asthma history! ;)

    By the way, she spent a bunch of time watching YouTube videos learning how the test was done. There's a couple of doctors in some videos who give quite the medical lesson to explain the test and how the graphing works.



    After she passed the test... she started the paperwork journey for Plan A and is thinking about plans B, C, D & E .... (ROTC, Merit, Gap Year or Enlist)... ;)
     
  8. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Many thanks to all you who responded with some great guidance. Rather than recommend links to my physician friend, I think I will direct him to this page for all the info in one spot. Who knows, we may get another member.
     

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