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Thread: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

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    Default Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    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?

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Quote Originally Posted by AFKILO7 View Post
    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?”

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Quote Originally Posted by AFKILO7 View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Quote Originally Posted by AFKILO7 View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    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...f?p=MI:ENTRY:0
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    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...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.
    Newton's First Law of Motion

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Talk to Tricare and see if they can get you a 220v CPAP or a multivoltage machine. They'll work with you.

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    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.

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    Default Re: Dependent Med issue and Overseas Assginment

    Lots of good points made,

    Quote Originally Posted by technomage1 View Post
    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.
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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