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Help Connecting Husband's Heart Condition


KHJH

Question

My husband was discharged 11/2/1970 with 30% SC for back, hip & knee injuries. On 6/30/1971, 8 months later he was called back for a reevaluation. During the reevaluation they ordered a Chest PA & LAT. The results were:

2 M Chestogram, PA and Lateral views 6/30/1971, shows no consolidative lesion. Heart shadow appears abnormal in that the aortic knob is hypoplastic, (small) and there is prominence of the main pulmonary artery (convex border instead of concave) and there is suggestion of some increased roundness of the left ventricle without any evidence of cardiac enlargement. one should rule out possibilities: 1. Aortic valvular disease? 2. Bronchial asthma?

I also have a copy of an EKG from this C&P in 1971. I had a nurse friend look at it and she said there was clearly something going on then. I was wanting someone elses opinion on the EKG before I took it to his doctor to ask for his opinion. I would feel like a fool if he said the EKG looked OK.

He was not told about these findings during the C&P. I thought any medical problems found within a year after discharge were considered presumptive service connected.

I also have a ER report where he went to a local emergency room 1 month after discharge complaining of chest pains. They did not run any test they said he was having an anxiety attack.

In 1990 he had a quadruple bypass. I received his medical reports and they read: He underwent cardiac catheterization which showed severe triple vessel coronary artery disease with an old and occluded right coronary artery, marked stenosis proximally in the LAD vessel. Showed nonspecific nonspecific coving in the inferior leads with invertea__? and AVL. There was soft systolic murmer noted. He underwent four vessel coronary artery bypass graft procedure. Inspection of the heart showed old inferior right ventricular scarring. Atherosclerosis was noted plus old scarring involving the inferior wall of the left ventricle.

It looks to me like what they suspected in 1971 is what they found in 1990. I would like to get his heart service connected but not sure how to go about it.

Should this be a 1151 claim since they failed to tell him about the findings in 1971 or should he ask that his claim back then be reexamined. We are from one of the lower paid states and he received a letter a couple months ago stating that he could have his old claims reexamined. Or should he just file a claim on his heart and send these medical reports. What is the best way to go about connecting his heart.

My husband is already 80% IU P&T so this won't mean any more money, but I would be able to draw DIC if he died due to heart problems. This would sure ease his mind, he worries what would happen to me if he was to die.

I need a lot of input on this.

Thanks

Kathy

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Kathy:

Looks to me like you have plenaty of ammunition. I am not really able to advise you but I wish you and your husband well

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Guest jstacy

If the tests were done by the VA, There may be one avenue you could consider. This may help.

§ 3.157 Report of examination or hospitalization as claim for increase or to reopen.

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(a) General. Effective date of pension or compensation benefits, if otherwise in order, will be the date of receipt of a claim or the date when entitlement arose, whichever is the later. A report of examination or hospitalization which meets the requirements of this section will be accepted as an informal claim for benefits under an existing law or for benefits under a liberalizing law or Department of Veterans Affairs issue, if the report relates to a disability which may establish entitlement. Acceptance of a report of examination or treatment as a claim for increase or to reopen is subject to the requirements of §3.114 with respect to action on Department of Veterans Affairs initiative or at the request of the claimant and the payment of retroactive benefits from the date of the report or for a period of 1 year prior to the date of receipt of the report.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 5110(a))

(:( Claim. Once a formal claim for pension or compensation has been allowed or a formal claim for compensation disallowed for the reason that the service-connected disability is not compensable in degree, receipt of one of the following will be accepted as an informal claim for increased benefits or an informal claim to reopen. In addition, receipt of one of the following will be accepted as an informal claim in the case of a retired member of a uniformed service whose formal claim for pension or compensation has been disallowed because of receipt of retirement pay. The evidence listed will also be accepted as an informal claim for pension previously denied for the reason the disability was not permanently and totally disabling.

(1) Report of examination or hospitalization by Department of Veterans Affairs or uniformed services. The date of outpatient or hospital examination or date of admission to a VA or uniformed services hospital will be accepted as the date of receipt of a claim. The date of a uniformed service examination which is the basis for granting severance pay to a former member of the Armed Forces on the temporary disability retired list will be accepted as the date of receipt of claim. The date of admission to a non-VA hospital where a veteran was maintained at VA expense will be accepted as the date of receipt of a claim, if VA maintenance was previously authorized; but if VA maintenance was authorized subsequent to admission, the date VA received notice of admission will be accepted. The provisions of this paragraph apply only when such reports relate to examination or treatment of a disability for which service-connection has previously been established or when a claim specifying the benefit sought is received within one year from the date of such examination, treatment or hospital admission.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)

(2) Evidence from a private physician or layman. The date of receipt of such evidence will be accepted when the evidence furnished by or in behalf of the claimant is within the competence of the physician or lay person and shows the reasonable probability of entitlement to benefits.

(3) State and other institutions. When submitted by or on behalf of the veteran and entitlement is shown, date of receipt by the Department of Veterans Affairs of examination reports, clinical records, and transcripts of records will be accepted as the date of receipt of a claim if received from State, county, municipal, recognized private institutions, or other Government hospitals (except those described in paragraph (:blink:(1) of this section). These records must be authenticated by an appropriate official of the institution. Benefits will be granted if the records are adequate for rating purposes; otherwise findings will be verified by official examination. Reports received from private institutions not listed by the American Hospital Association must be certified by the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs or physician designee.

[26 FR 1571, Feb. 24, 1961, as amended at 27 FR 4421, May 9, 1962; 31 FR 12055, Sept. 15, 1966; 40 FR 56434, Dec. 3, 1975; 52 FR 27340, July 21, 1987; 60 FR 27409, May 24, 1995

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A claim for direct SC of heart would only produce DIC -if he died of heart disease-if in fact they recognize this as a presumptive condition.

as I see this maybe I missed something.

A claim under Sec 1151 -if successful in his lifetime would have to be rated and there is potential for SMC even though he gets 100% now.

If he should die from heart disease, you could re-open his 1151 claim -if they have not awarded it or use the Sec 1151 award to support a death under Sec 1151,stating that their failure to diagnose and treat the heart disease early on ,has hastened his death.

In 1988 my husband collapsed while working at the VA. The ER ordered tests -ekg etc-and the med cert said to "RO CAD". The ECG was abnormal.

However they gave the veteran sudafed and told him it was a sinus problem.

Within months he had a series of transcient strokes. They said he had a hole in his ear drum on that -yet a private expert said no hole in ear-

his undiagnosed conditions (to include also DMII) accelerated into a full blow stroke in 92 and his death 2 years later.

I get DIC because the VA failed to diagnose and treat his heart disease ,(among other "multiple deviations" I proved , and "all" of these medical errors "hastened" the veteran's death -quotes from my award letter 1998----evidenced by the consistent lack of proper health care dating back to the 1988 med certificate.

We had no idea he had heart disease. A VA Cardiologist who had just read his ECHO (abnormal) told me there was nothing wrong with his heart-1992.

I did not know then a thing about cardiology. And like dopes we both believed what VA doctors said.

However my husband filed a Sec 1151 prior to his death and predicted they would kill him in that claim.

It looks to me that -if your husband's care with VA was consistent throught the 19 years since the first EKG-and yet they failed to treat and prevent it from escalating to the point that he needed surgery-that he has a legitimate Section 1151 claim.

If he has any way of claiming direct service connection for heart disease too he should pursue both types of claims.

A veteran has the right to use any type of claim at all- and more then one approach to attempt to get SC.

I suggest that you carefully determine if he had normal glucose readings all this time and if not-did he ever get any HBIac tests, OGTT, or anything that ruled out diabetes-a main cause of heart disease-

Also I suggest you check all of his TRYGLYC readings as to abnormal cholestrol reports-

This also can indicate to doctors potential heart disease and atherosclerosis if these readings are abnormal and untreated.

In Rods case VA doctors circled these abnormal readings,numerous times, yet did nothing about them.

I did not have an IMO when I won Sec 1151 and FTCA-

I did the medical work myself and went one to one with them at VACO on it-

I spent day after day learning what his med recs meant and also reading medical texts.

The VA continuously told me that I was not a medical professional-therefore my opinions were not sound.

They ate those words 3 years later.

Unless you have the time this all takes, and you seem to have a nurses help- (who could certainly provide an IMO to the VA,) I fully suggest -do NOT do it my way and get a good IMO right away before the VA denies any 1151 claim and then strings it all out for years.

There is the possiblity that his care has been appropriate-

but you would feel better if that statement came from a real doctor and not some adjudicator or VA so called "expert".I had to knock down many VA expert medical opinions-

that was very time consuming and stressful-

I sure dont want to see any claimant go through that type of stress -they used every thing they could to deny my claim- and why----- they ended up paying big time for Rod's wrongful death anyhow-

Maybe this nurse would be willing to read all of the med recs and give you a medical opinion?

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