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fielg

1994 Agent Orange Exam

Question

Husband had 1994 Agent Orange examination. This was for a careful evaluation for possible medical problems. VA did a physical and extensive series of lab tests, chest xray, liver, gallbladder, bones, muscles, hormone glands and and white blood cells. THESE RECORDS WERE CONVENIENTLY LOST LOST AND AFTER TWO REQUESTS AND A MONTH LONG INTERVAL,A HAND SEARCH FOUND SOME OF HIS MISSING RECORDS.

1. The doc's letter noted elevated WBC and lipids, He did not talk about OUT of range Lymphocyte counts and out of range Neut counts. HE DID NOT TELL THE VETERAN TO COME BACK FOR A FOLLOWUP WITH VA OR A PRIVATE PHYSICIAN. THESE COUNTS WERE TUMOR MARKERS IN HIM THAT PROGRESSED INTO A STAGE IV COLON CANCER THAT HAD METASTASIZED UNTIL 2000. VA HAD SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE OF TOXIC EXPOSURES TO VIETNAM VETS AND WERE PERFORMING STUDIES AND SUPPOSEDLY CLOSELY MONITORING HEALTH OF VIETNAM VETERANS. MY HUSBAND RELIED UPON THE SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THE VA SYSTEM, THE CAREFUL EVALUATION, AND THE EXTENSIVE EXAMINATION TO HIS DETRIMENT IN HIM NOT BEING ADVISED TO MONITOR THE CANCER MARKERAS NOTED IN THE BLOOD PANELS IN 1994.

IN THE LETTER THEY SAID "ALL TEST RESULTS WERE NORMAL EXCEPT FOR AN ELEVATED WBC AND ELEVATED LIPIDS. THIS DATA WILL BE CAREFULLY ANALYZED TO TRY TO DISCOVER ANY PATTERNS OR ABNORMALITIES THAT MIGHT BE RELATED TO AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE AND THEREFORE, DESERVING FURTHER STUDY.

THEY NEVER TOLD MY HUSBAND TO HAVE ANOTHER BLOOD TEST OR HAVE THESE TUMOR MARKERS EVALUATED. ANY CANCER MARKER (EVEN IF NOT RECOGNISED AS AGENT ORANGE) SHOULD HAVE HAD A FOLLOW UP. THESE WERE DOCTORS. I COULD SCREAM AT THEIR NEGLIGENCE WITH HIM. AN AGENT ORANGE CLAIM WAS FILED BY A VSO RIGHT AFTER THE AO EXAM IN 1994 FOR AGENT ORANGE AND RESIDUALS AND DENIED IN 1995.

MY QUESTION IS - ARE THEY OFF THE HOOK WITH NEGLIGENCE BECAUSE THEY WERE TESTING FOR AGENT ORANGE.?? I FEEL ANY DOCTOR WOULD HAVE RECOMMENDED FURTHER TESTING. THEY DID NOT!!!!

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.

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"MY QUESTION IS - ARE THEY OFF THE HOOK WITH NEGLIGENCE BECAUSE THEY WERE TESTING FOR AGENT ORANGE.?? I FEEL ANY DOCTOR WOULD HAVE RECOMMENDED FURTHER TESTING. THEY DID NOT"

These elevated counts could have many causes.

After 1994 did he have continuous VA medical care?

"THEY NEVER TOLD MY HUSBAND TO HAVE ANOTHER BLOOD TEST OR HAVE THESE TUMOR MARKERS EVALUATED"

Who documented these were "tumor markers" "

What did his VA blood chem reports reveal progressively until his diagnosis?

When did they diagnose the colon cancer?

Was that a VA diagnosis and

was it after continuous VA care?

My husband presented high lipids in many blood chem reports done by the VA.

Also he presented a high tryglyceride/cholestrol picture which I ultimately proved caused his 1151 stroke and heart disease due to VA's failure to treat.

I also used his blood work and the hyperlipedemia ( first diagnosed in a SOC )to prove he also had misdiagnosed diabetes due to AO.

But elevated lipids are a fact of life these days with the general public.I had to research my husband's hyperlipedimia very extensively before I cold correlate it to his IHD,CVAs and DMII. It could be a factor in cancer but that would need a strong medical nexus.

This could possibly be a basis for a Section 1151 claim that your husband could file- but I sure suggest getting an IMO first as

what I see here doesn't appear to raise to level of negligence but then again- I can sure state that VA almost got away with malpractice on my husband.

A very good friend of mine was suddenly operated on by VA for cancer of the colon.

I was surprised and very happy to see him come up my deck a few weeks later. He explained to me what the VA had done as far as the surgery went.

As he was leaving he said an odd statement and I suddenly asked him to sit down again and have a cup of coffee or whatever he wanted as I needed to type up something for him.I asked him for his c file number and I knew the VARO address by heart.

He said why-I said I am going to type out a Sec 1151 claim for you.He didn't understand what that was but I asked him if he trusted my judgement and if he would sign it,copy it and mail it to the VARO that same day.

He said yes and he did and 3-4 months later he came up to my home with a letter he could hardly believe. It was a VA award letter for 100% plus SMC under 1151.

What I typed out was simply that 'This was a claim under auspices of Section 1151,38 USC.I fully believe' (I was typing it as the vet would type it)'that my (meaning his) VA medical records will reveal I have been misdiagnosed by the VA to the point that I have received an additional disability of colon cancer.'

I never saw his medical records at all.Obviously what he had said as he started to leave was a BIG red flag and I knew right away something was wrong with his prior VA care.

My point here is Did any VA doctor document or suggest to your husband that there were in fact Tumor markers in his blood work?

Blood work for tumor markers is different than the blood work you described which could have had many causes.

The Agent Orange registry tests ,if that is what you mean, meant little to the VA unless he was a VA patient and therefore getting subsequent follow ups from the VA.

"ARE THEY OFF THE HOOK WITH NEGLIGENCE BECAUSE THEY WERE TESTING FOR AGENT ORANGE.??" I don't quite understand this

as I dont recall VA ever really "testing" for AO as part of the AO registry.Someone else here will be better able to answer that.

"I FEEL ANY DOCTOR WOULD HAVE RECOMMENDED FURTHER TESTING. THEY DID NOT!!!!"

If you feel the VA failed to do follow up testing that could have revealed his cancer sooner, and if he was in fact a VAMC out patient, you can file a Section 1151 claim.

However you will need positive proof that they failed to do what any doctors in the standard medical community would have done.

You will need proof from his VA medical records and most like a very strong independent medical opinion to link what VA did or didnt do right medically, to his colon cancer.

There is considerable info here in our FTCA forum on Section 1151 claims.

Also I dont see here where there was basis for an AO claim in 1994 as I do not see any presumptive disability to AO.

I hope others chime in.

By all means he can file a Sec 1151 if he believes his VA medical records will reveal negligence.

There is very little info here as to what medical care he had between the AO test time frame and when he was diagnosed for the cancer.

Edited by Berta

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IT WAS CALLED AN AGENT ORANGE EXAM. HE WAS BEING TREATED FOR CONSISTENT RASHES, IVE, ETC FROM 1970 THRU PRESENT. IT IS DOCUMENTED ON EVERY OTHER PAGE OF THE MEDICAL DOCUMENTS THAT WERE MISSING AND TURNED UP AS A HAND SEARCH.

HIS CANCER WAS DIAGNOSED IN 2000 - IT WAS VERY ADVANCED - TOTALLY BLOCKED COLON AND METS TO THE LIVER. THIS IS A CANCER THAT METATASIZED OVER A NUMBER OF YEARS UNTIL IT REACHED A STAGE IV. A COLONOSCOPY WOULD HAVE FOUND IT. A FOLLOW UP EVALUATION OF THE ELEVATED MARKERS OF LYMPH, NEUT WOULD HAVE FOUND IT. VA DID NOT TELL HIM OR RECOMMEND THAT HE HAVE FOLLOW UP AFTER THIS CAREFUL EVALUATION AND EXTENSIVE EXAMINATION. THEY STATED IN A LETTER THAT ALL TESTS WERE OKAY EXCEPT AN ELEVATED WBC AND LIPIDS. THEY SAID IN THEIR LETTER THAT EXAM RESULTS WILL BE MAINTAINED BY VETERANS AFFAIRS. THE EXAM DATA WILL BE CAREFULLY ANALYZED TO TRY TO DISCOVER ANY PATTERNS OR ABNORMALITIES THAT MIGHT BE RELATED TO AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE AND THEREFORE DESERVING FURTHER STUDY"

ANSWER: JUST RECEIVED MED RCDS 2010. NO VA DOCTOR DOCUMENTED OR SUGGESTED TO MY HUSBAND THAT THERE WERE IN FACT TUMOR MARKERS IN HIS BLOOD WORK.

NOT UNTIL RECENTLY IN 2010 DID WE RECEIVE RECORDS. WE ARE FILING 1151.

AGENT ORANGE TESTING WAS A "BIG DEAL" ON VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES BECAUSE OF THE DANGER THEY PRESENTED.

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I highly recommend that you obtain an independent medical opinion because it is difficult to prove these claims without extensive medical evidence of negligence.

I only succeeded on my 1151 claim ( a re open of his claim after he died) because I also succeeded on a FTCA case.

I studied cardiology and neurology for that claim and then I studied diabetes for my recent AO claim.

But my recent claim also had 3 IMOs as I was not taking any chances this time. Even with the IMOs however that claim took 7 years to award.

These situations can certainly be proven by lay evidence but the lay evidence is really just a lay effort to advance a negligence theory with a STRONG negligence basis based on documented evidence in the med recs. That is why my friend I mentioned was awarded.

His medical records (based on what he told me) would have revealed negligence and malpractice and there was no doubt in my mind at all on that.I didnt have to even see them.

Most cases under 1151 are not so cut and dried.

And the VA fights them aggressively and,if you ever read any of my past posts on my past claims, they will do all they can to get out of paying under 1151.

There are 1151 awards at the BVA web site that reveal why some are awarded and why some aren't.

It all boils down to documented proof of negligence.

"AGENT ORANGE TESTING WAS A "BIG DEAL" ON VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES BECAUSE OF THE DANGER THEY PRESENTED."

I dont recall that because at the time (1994) the Agent Orange Settlement Fund was still in existence.

My husband was in that settlement fund and then they sent me money after he died.

Although it was clearly indicated in every VA med cert he had that he had been exposed to herbicides,he never got any AO testing at all.

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      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

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      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
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      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
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      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

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