Heart murmur joining raleigh in 7 weeks!

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by willsz, Aug 18, 2011.

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  1. Hi there, just found the website loads of info but i'm in need of some advice before i speak to my afco. I beleive angrydoc and ninjastoker may be able to advise........

    I have my date to join HMS Raleigh in about 7 weeks time. I'm joining as a submariner. I passed my medical last year and am over 18. My medical went fine, no problems. Now, i went to see my doctor yesterday (chest infection) and he happened to find that i have a heart murmur. Now this wasnt put on my medical record yesterday, he happened to notice and suggested i go for an echo scan.

    Now i know i have a medical in the 1st week at Raleigh and you would have thought they would pick this up (it wasnt picked up on my original medical). Now i am not sure what to do. I dont want to go to Raleigh and be sent home due to this.

    Do i tell my afco and would they possibly arrange for me to see a doctor?
    Get my doctor to arrange the echo scan and find out the results?
    Just turn up to Raleigh and see what happens?
    Have an echo and turn up at Raleigh with them if the results are ok?
    I'm pretty bloody worried about this as i've been waiting so long to join etc Does a heart murmur mean a bar from selection? Any advice would be really apreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  2. 'notice/think/suggest that i have a heart murmur' sounds a bit vague. I suppose you have a duty to report any diagnosis but that doesn't seem like a solid diagnosis to me.
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Angrydoc is your man on this one with regard the potential medical implications. (If your car was misfiing, I'm your man.)

    You are obliged to inform your AFCO if you need to see your GP or a specialist since being passed fit. From what little I know on the subject of heart murmours, the majority are proven benign after an ECG, but obviously some aren't & that can be a significant issue. The best bet is to contact your AFCO, inform them of your situation. They will probably book you in to see the Medical Examiner after the ECG just to confirm you are still fit to enter. Obviously the Medical Examiner will need to see a copy of your ECG.

    Fingers crossed, all will be OK.

    It's fully appreciated it's a bit of last minute stress you could well do without - rest assured I, and indeed your AFCO, sincerely hope all turns out in your favour
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  4. Thankyou n/s, i think i will call the doctor tomorrow to arrange the echo scan, although i dont want to and it is tempting to just go to Raleigh and hope it goes un-noticed! I realise that would be a stupid gamble to take.

    The doctor hasnt said i need to go for the scan infact he said we can forget the conversation happened but what i dont want is to get to Raleigh and be sent packing as i am sure they will look at that sort of thing during my medical.

    Could angrydoc let me know about where they draw the line so to speak regarding bar to entry with the murmur and echo results?

    I just hope to god that the scan gives me a positive result. thanks again.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  5. If it isn't in your medical notes then your Doctor should be reported to the GMC.

    You need an ECG and echocardiogram with reassessment afterwards. It is, of course, possible you don't have a murmur or that it is due to a faster than normal heart rate (caused by infection).

    Important to tell the AFCO, and anyone else who asks.
  6. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Look on the bright side, Willsz. It could be a tumour and you're probably going to die.
  7. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Nah, it's the first sign of Alzheimer's, he'll forget about it tomorrow.
  8. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Who will? :?
  9. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

  10. I have a heart murmer that wasn't picked until I had my submarine medical during phase 2 training. It hadn't been picked up by a civvy doctor, the RN doctor who did my joining medical, or during my medical tests at Raleigh. I was referred to a heart specialist at Haslar who confirmed the diagnosis and had to decide whether I was fit for service in submarines. I've been a submariner for 20 years now, so while I'm not a doctor, I can say with some certainty that it's not a bar to service.

    Although the civvy doctor at Collingwood when I was on Mechs course wouldn't sign me fit to go on Op Fresco because of it! Apparently it's only safe for me to wear BA at sea.
  11. wow pretty stressful stuff. Out of interest, if i were to have my medical at Raleigh and the examiner said that i may have a heart murmur, would they then refer me to a medical centre for the echo/ECG themselves? I think this is what they army does with a medical centre/hospital in north wales. Would you just be discharged, sent home and told to arrange it yourself through your GP?

    I have been booked in for the echo now so it is on my records. When you say reassesed andrydoc what would that involve? I'm wondering if say i have the echo, get told its pretty harmless, see the afco, he books me to see the doctor, show them the echo results and all could well be ok.

    Any idea where they draw the line as to how bad the murmur can be before you are considered not fit to serve?

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  12. There are many causes of murmurs. A murmur is caused by disturbed blood flow through the heart. There are innocent and non-innocent causes. Some you have from birth, some you develop. Some go away, others don't.

    It all depends on the cause. If all tests are normal then there's nothing to worry about. If there's a problem then you won't be accepted into the Service. It'll be up to you to see your GP regarding further action.

    PompeyExpat - ever thought that you may not have had a murmur in your entry medical?
  13. angrydoc's advice is sound.
    Murmurs can be temporary and due to inflammation induced by infection. There is however a surprisingly large variety of murmurs, rubs and gallops (all often lumped together as murmurs by non cardiology specialists) some of which are termed functional, are not to do with the structures of the heart and often benign.
    When all is said and done, you really should be concerned about a speedy diagnosis and attempting to ignore the possibilty that you may have a heart murmur due to an underlying heart condition would be foolhardy and, potentially, stressful for you.
    I really don't know if things have changed and, if they have, how but when I served back in the Stone Age, I knew of a few S/M volunteers who were investigated for "slight" or "mild" (terms that shouldn't be used today) heart murmurs and only one eventually failed to serve in boats and was medically discharged.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  14. Indeed, there was about a year between my entry medical and my submarine medical, although the PMO at Collingwood seemed to think it was probably something I was born with. Having said that, the specialist said the PMO must have had ears like a bat because he struggled to hear it and needed the ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.

    My point really to the original poster was just to reassure him that it wouldn't neccessarily be a bar to serving in boats. The only effect it's had on me was that I used to have to take anti-biotics before any dental treatment and now they'll no longer let me give blood.
  15. Hi people. I just got back from having my echo scan. The results were good. I was told there is nothing wrong with me....no dodgey valves, no holes no nothing. Everything is ok and i was told i was a very fit and healthy young man! So i am waiting for the consultant to pass the results on to my GP so i can then take a copy to show my AFCO.

    Am i right in assuming that this wont be a problem when i get to Raleigh for my submariner medical now i have had this done? Also before i dissapear from the forum forever, i have read that you have chest x-rays for a submariner medical. Purly out of interest what exactly is looked at and why? Thought maybe angrydoc could answer that one....no worries if you dont know but i must say thankyou to everyone for your replies especially pat, angrydoc and N/S. Thanks again.
  16. It sound like it shouldn't be a problem at all. But make sure the AFCO have been informed, they may well get you to take copies when you join Raleigh just to be safe.

    Have a good life in the RN


  17. Dont dissapear forever, keep an eye in and let us know how you get on, and help/abuse "Newbies" with aid of your experience when youve got some. Good luck

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