PDA

View Full Version : Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment



imported_AFKILO7
08-17-2013, 02:46 PM
I have a subordinate that wishes to go overseas, however, he is hesitant to put in for an assignment because his spouse has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine. Do any of you have any experience with this particular issue in relation to PCS'ing overseas?

Absinthe Anecdote
08-17-2013, 03:09 PM
I have a subordinate that wishes to go overseas, however, he is hesitant to put in for an assignment because his spouse has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine. Do any of you have any experience with this particular issue in relation to PCS'ing overseas?

Is this some type of sophisticated sarcasm that is way over my head or is this a serious question? Fortunately, I’ve never had any experience in this but I would imagine that CPAP machines work just as well overseas as they do here.

She might want to refrain from wearing the mask out in public unless she wants people asking her, “How many Migs did you shoot down?”

imported_AFKILO7
08-17-2013, 03:12 PM
Is this some type of sophisticated sarcasm that is way over my head or is this a serious question? Fortunately, I’ve never had any experience in this but I would imagine that CPAP machines work just as well overseas as they do here.

She might want to refrain from wearing the mask out in public unless she wants people asking her, “How many Migs did you shoot down?”

Nope being dead serious, I don't know what would be considered medically disqualifying.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-17-2013, 03:23 PM
Nope being dead serious, I don't know what would be considered medically disqualifying.

I would send your troop down to the flight surgeon or the medical clearance section of the hospital and ask them.

efmbman
08-17-2013, 03:26 PM
Nope being dead serious, I don't know what would be considered medically disqualifying.

From my experience (I was did Exceptional Family Member Program screening; not sure if the same term is used in the USAF) the only disqualifying conditions would be those that the military healthcare system cannot (or will not) treat in the overseas location. In some places, braces can be disqualifying. If the sleep apnea is considered controlled by using the CPAP, there should be no issues. The only issue I could even think of is that European electricity uses 50hz instead of the North American 60hz. That's why most digital clocks run slower over there. That was an issue in the 90s, but most base housing areas are equipped with 60hz / 120v. If living on the economy, a transformer may not be able to run the CPAP in the same manner. The data plate on the CPAP should indicate if it can function in the 120-220v / 50hz-60hz range without a transformer.


I would send your troop down to the flight surgeon or the medical clearance section of the hospital and ask them.

Indeed, they do know. No secrets in this area. You may also find info for a specific base / location using this:

http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/pls/psgprod/f?p=MI:ENTRY:0

technomage1
08-17-2013, 04:39 PM
From my experience (I was did Exceptional Family Member Program screening; not sure if the same term is used in the USAF) the only disqualifying conditions would be those that the military healthcare system cannot (or will not) treat in the overseas location. In some places, braces can be disqualifying. If the sleep apnea is considered controlled by using the CPAP, there should be no issues. The only issue I could even think of is that European electricity uses 50hz instead of the North American 60hz. That's why most digital clocks run slower over there. That was an issue in the 90s, but most base housing areas are equipped with 60hz / 120v. If living on the economy, a transformer may not be able to run the CPAP in the same manner. The data plate on the CPAP should indicate if it can function in the 120-220v / 50hz-60hz range without a transformer.



Indeed, they do know. No secrets in this area. You may also find info for a specific base / location using this:

http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/pls/psgprod/f?p=MI:ENTRY:0

You're correct on the power. A transformer will only step down the voltage to 110, it won't change the frequency from 50 to 60 hz. However, a quick look at the back of the machine will tell the consumer if it's OK or not. Also, typically only a clock or a mechanism directly dependent on a clock is affected. I've run my TV and Xbox 360 off transformers for years for example. I have no idea if a CPAP machine is dependent on a clock or not, to be honest.

He could also pick up a CPAP machine on the local economy. I think the only show stopper would be if they can't treat her at that location, as others have mentioned. I would think that large bases such as Ramstein or Lakenheath/Mildenhall that have hospitals would be able to treat her, but the medical folks can give a solid answer one way or another.

Airborne
08-17-2013, 05:37 PM
Is this some type of sophisticated sarcasm that is way over my head or is this a serious question? Fortunately, I’ve never had any experience in this but I would imagine that CPAP machines work just as well overseas as they do here.

She might want to refrain from wearing the mask out in public unless she wants people asking her, “How many Migs did you shoot down?”

I think it's a valid question especially in these fiscally constrained times. They will disqualify dependents for damn near anything these days to take stress off of the medical system. Best solution is to ask the doctors on base before pressing the button as suggested already. However while medical professionals on base have an idea of how the human body works, they have no idea how the medical system works so take their advice with a grain of salt.

Drackore
08-17-2013, 07:32 PM
Talk to Tricare and see if they can get you a 220v CPAP or a multivoltage machine. They'll work with you.

UncaRastus
08-17-2013, 07:37 PM
A good power convertor would do the 220 to 110 drop. Not sure about the 60/50 clock thing, though. While I was overseas, a power convertor ran some things for me. Look online for a 220 to 110 power convertor to find prices for that.

Any base with a neurologist should be able to handle the CPAP user, if that person has central sleep apnea, which is basically the brain telling the person to shut down the breathing.

If that person has the more regular type of obstructive sleep apnea, in that there is too much soft tissue causing that apneic condition, at least at an Army hospital in the states that I was close to 10 years ago, the EENT section handled those cases.

Of course, my suggestions about the Drs. in charge of these conditions may be different now, and the difference between AF, Army, and USN coverage for these conditions may be different, also.

efmbman
08-17-2013, 09:31 PM
Lots of good points made,


I have no idea if a CPAP machine is dependent on a clock or not, to be honest.

Most have an SD card inside to record usage and that data is time related. Other than that, the machine is either on or off.

imported_AFKILO7
08-17-2013, 10:39 PM
I would send your troop down to the flight surgeon or the medical clearance section of the hospital and ask them.

I suggested it too, I've been on con leave and I've checked on him a couple of times during my leave with minimal response. He keeps saying, "you're on leave, relax, work will be here when you get back." I'm just curious and trying to be a good supervisor.

tiredretiredE7
08-18-2013, 12:20 PM
I suggested it too, I've been on con leave and I've checked on him a couple of times during my leave with minimal response. He keeps saying, "you're on leave, relax, work will be here when you get back." I'm just curious and trying to be a good supervisor.

I spent 10 years in Europe and EFMP issues are more complex then what has been stated so far. It basically comes down to how the medical provider at the OS installation interprets the guidance and the HN medical capabilities. I have seen asthma be a factor because dependents received care on the economy and HN ambulance were un-reliable so the member was approved but the family was not. So it really doesn't matter what the stateside base medical personnel tell you, they aren't the approval authority. Even when stateside medical has contacted the gaining OS installation, a simple PCS of medical personnel at the OS installation has resulted in a previous approval being turned over into a denial due to EFMP. The mega-installations at Ramstein seem to accept most family EFMP but small NATO installation will not accept ANY EFMP.

Chief_KO
08-18-2013, 12:42 PM
TRE7 is spot-on. It is totally a "risk-management" decision by the gaining MDG. Are they willing to take on someone with an issue (even if minor, being treated)? More often than not, the answer is no. Case in point: AD member cleared to deploy (and not to the Deid or other base, but FOB in Afghanistan), yet denied medical clearance to be assigned to Osan.
Chicken$hit MDG...Imagine if every gaining unit got to decide whether or not not accept someone based upon experience/training/EPRs...Come on MDG, dust off your medical diplomas as start practicing medicine, not picking who you accept as patients.

sharkhunter
08-18-2013, 10:25 PM
I don't think it'll be an issue if he/she was trying to apply for a UK base. I know one NCO who has an EFMP here and his circumstance is much more complex than your subordinate.
The best advice I can give is just apply and see what AF says. It doesn't hurt to just apply. Usually at the medical screening they'll discuss all the possible issues. If/when they arrive overseas, the worst thing that can happen is the base cannot support the troop and they'll be diverted somewhere else. During my inprocessing at Incirlik, Turkey, one of the nurses told us that people with bad allergies have a tough time at Turkey. If after a few weeks, if they can't manage, they directed to go see her and they start processing a divert assignment. She openly admitted that she's diverted families to Hawaii and FL

js7799
08-19-2013, 03:01 AM
I don't think it'll be an issue if he/she was trying to apply for a UK base.

Personal experiences will vary. My assignment to RAF Alconbury nearly got cancelled because of my wife's fairly mild medical issue. She's British, so I was able to convince AFPC to let me take her without command sponsorship status. Once we had been there a few months, we had her evaluated again and she was approved. But again, I very nearly lost the assignment because of it. I would think getting accepted to Lakenheath or Mildenhall would be easier, but any of the smaller UK bases not so much.

imported_AFKILO7
08-19-2013, 03:24 AM
Thank all of you for the responses, tomorrow is my first day back to work after con leave so I'll be touching base.

loggie94
08-19-2013, 05:28 AM
Concur with what's been said above. Put in for the assignments. When selected, the member and family have to be medically screened. They will then determine if services are available. If SA is stable, there should be no issues.

As for the machines...most are dual voltage (easy enough to check), or a dual-voltage machine can be obtained easily enough.

I was recently diagnosed (am stationed overseas), and the machine given to me by the nice lady in Germany is dual voltage, state of the art (as CPAP machines go), and all I need is a plug adapter when when I'm back in the US on leave/TDY, etc.

PM me if you need more specifics...

Airborne
08-19-2013, 01:04 PM
Personal experiences will vary. My assignment to RAF Alconbury nearly got cancelled because of my wife's fairly mild medical issue. She's British, so I was able to convince AFPC to let me take her without command sponsorship status. Once we had been there a few months, we had her evaluated again and she was approved. But again, I very nearly lost the assignment because of it. I would think getting accepted to Lakenheath or Mildenhall would be easier, but any of the smaller UK bases not so much.

Sucks that you were not able to get command sponsorship even though she was British. Glad it worked out though.