Sudden Cardiac Arrest/AICD and pre-existing conditions

B8736

Registered Member
#1
Hi all, this forum appears to be a wealth of information, thank you all for the insight. About 2-weeks ago, my life changed as I had an out of hospital SCA after a hike. I went into idiopathic anaphylaxis and then SCA after the medics pushed Epi. I think had a second SCA two days later while lying in the ICU, so feel fortunate to be here. 5 days later, the docs implanted an AICD and 2-days after that, I was told the paperwork was being started for Medboard.

I have been active duty for 6.5 years and like many here, have had no heart issues prior to this episode and the civilian cardio has said there is no pre-existing condition to cause this and the cause is unknown.

With an unknown cause, what have others experiences been in linking SCA and AICD to service? Or has anyone had issues with being told it was pre-existing? My biggest fear is being separated without access to Tricare. Thanks so much for your insight.
 

ANSU07

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
Hi all, this forum appears to be a wealth of information, thank you all for the insight. About 2-weeks ago, my life changed as I had an out of hospital SCA after a hike. I went into idiopathic anaphylaxis and then SCA after the medics pushed Epi. I think had a second SCA two days later while lying in the ICU, so feel fortunate to be here. 5 days later, the docs implanted an AICD and 2-days after that, I was told the paperwork was being started for Medboard.

I have been active duty for 6.5 years and like many here, have had no heart issues prior to this episode and the civilian cardio has said there is no pre-existing condition to cause this and the cause is unknown.

With an unknown cause, what have others experiences been in linking SCA and AICD to service? Or has anyone had issues with being told it was pre-existing? My biggest fear is being separated without access to Tricare. Thanks so much for your insight.
I don't have experience with SCA/AICD, but what I do know is regardless of whether it was a prior condition or not, the VA/DoD would have to definitively show that it wasn't aggravated/exacerbated while on active duty, which would be difficult with all the exercise/PT required by active duty. If you did not have clear signs of the condition before getting on active duty and don't have a medical waiver for getting into service, then it's almost impossible for the VA/DoD to prove that it isn't service connected. I would say it's highly likely you'll be medically retired with a >30% VA rating.
 

B8736

Registered Member
#3
I don't have experience with SCA/AICD, but what I do know is regardless of whether it was a prior condition or not, the VA/DoD would have to definitively show that it wasn't aggravated/exacerbated while on active duty, which would be difficult with all the exercise/PT required by active duty. If you did not have clear signs of the condition before getting on active duty and don't have a medical waiver for getting into service, then it's almost impossible for the VA/DoD to prove that it isn't service connected. I would say it's highly likely you'll be medically retired with a >30% VA rating.
Thank you for the insight!
 

TiredChef81

Registered Member
#4
ANSU, Congratulations on still being with us, glad you made it. Welcome to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest survivor's club. Since you are active duty, this should be considered service connected. Exceptions from this are extreme (like if you were AWOL or somehow deliberately self-inflicted. (Of course, I have no idea how or why someone could do that.) If there is no mention of any condition that would cause SCA in your intake physical (if there was you probably would not have been accepted per AR 40-501 Paragraph 2-18) you've been in long enough to earn a presumption the condition is not pre-existing. There is a wealth of info/conversations on this forum concerning SCA/SCD (sudden cardiac death) and ICD's. It would be worth taking a look. I am by no means an expert on this, just a fellow traveler down the same dusty trail.

09 OCT 16 - Sudden Cardiac Death
18 OCT 16 - AICD implanted (negative Cardiac MRI, Chest CT, EM Study, Genetic Testing)
23 JUN 17 - P3 Profile Submitted, MEB Initiated
11 SEP 17 - NARSUM Returned

Good luck and God bless
 

TankerB3

Registered Member
#5
Hi all, this forum appears to be a wealth of information, thank you all for the insight. About 2-weeks ago, my life changed as I had an out of hospital SCA after a hike. I went into idiopathic anaphylaxis and then SCA after the medics pushed Epi. I think had a second SCA two days later while lying in the ICU, so feel fortunate to be here. 5 days later, the docs implanted an AICD and 2-days after that, I was told the paperwork was being started for Medboard.

I have been active duty for 6.5 years and like many here, have had no heart issues prior to this episode and the civilian cardio has said there is no pre-existing condition to cause this and the cause is unknown.

With an unknown cause, what have others experiences been in linking SCA and AICD to service? Or has anyone had issues with being told it was pre-existing? My biggest fear is being separated without access to Tricare. Thanks so much for your insight.

------------------

FYI, In 2010 I was on my 6.5 years Active Duty. I went through MEB than year after I got my AICD. Since I still wanted to serve, I fought the Board and eventually found me "Fit for Duty". However, I changed my MOS from combat arms to non-combat arms. I am still serving today and going for my 15th year active duty. I also didn't have any heart issue before prior to my diagnosis for Brugada Syndrome. When I was trying to convince the Board, my doctors did a lot of cardio test and submitted to the board for consideration.
 

chaplaincharlie

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#6
I have an AICD. It carries a 100% DoD and VA rating.

EPTS would require evidence. I'm sorry about your health crisis. No need to add worries about the PEB process.

Best wishes
Mike
 

TankerB3

Registered Member
#7
I have an AICD. It carries a 100% DoD and VA rating.

EPTS would require evidence. I'm sorry about your health crisis. No need to add worries about the PEB process.

Best wishes
Mike
Mike,
Can you please clarify the "100% DoD and VA rating?"
Is that mean you'll get 100% of your base pay and whatever the VA 100% rate depending the size of your household?
Also, did you do 20 yrs or less?
Feedback would be appreciated.
 

chaplaincharlie

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#8
The VA rates all contentions yielding a VA percentage.

The DoD rates all "unfitting" contentions using the VA percentage.

An AICD rates 100% per the VA. An AICD is an unfitting condition per my service guidance. Therefore my DoD rating had to be 100% because the VA rated that contention 100%.
 
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