BVA–WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ BLOOD LABS


downloadWith the amazing blood tests for liver diseases in this day and age, buttressed by liver biopsy showing age of the infection, there is simply no reason on earth for a BVA decision like the one I describe here. The only logical test to differentiate between Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C is ignored. This evidence is presented and accorded zero probative value. On top of that, the American Legion is not covering Johnny Vet’s back. No nexus of any kind, in spite of the avowed Holy Writ that one cannot win without it, is presented. 

In the last twenty years or more, we have advanced medically such that we can ascertain without any doubt whatsoever, the medical history of all flavors of Hepatitis in any given individual. If you ever had any of the three (A,B or C), blood lab testing can tell you not only if you had one or not, but whether you currently have it. There’s no Voodoo medicine involved. In fact, there is nothing complicated about it. If you have never had Hepatitis A, for instance, doctors tend to vaccinate you against it nowadays before they even consider the newer treatments of Sovaldi or Harvoni. The same applies for Hepatitis B. That test (Australia Antigen) has been around since 1970. Nevertheless, the newer  Immunoglobulins test that encompasses IgA, IgG and IgM  nails it down unequivocally. So why is it not being presented here in more detail and blowing this denial out of the water?

Reading through BVA hepatitis C decisions is not for the light of heart. It will break yours. I see far too many Vets march smartly to their VA claims funeral with a name brand VSO holding their hat and coat while they duel. Here, we have another Johnny Rebel with his VSO in tow. It looks suspiciously like he’s onto the right blood test showing no evidence of ever having been infected by the HAV (formerly called infectious) ever in his life.

In May 2008, the Veteran underwent a VA examination. The examiner noted the Veteran’s history of treatment for a “previous infectious hepatitis, type unknown.” At the time, the Veteran reported hepatitis C was discovered in 1999 on a routine physical examination and lab screening. Blood test results were set forth in the examination report. It was noted that hepatitis A virus IgM Ab was not indicated.

 

CaptureSo VA was puzzled as to why HAV antibodies were not detected if the hepatitis in service was “infectious” as documented. Let’s parse Hep A IgM Ab in the search bar and see what it turns up. Ta-daaaaa! No less an authority than the Mayo Clinic is well aware of the significance of this test so how is it the VA Judge affords it no value?

With respect to the Veteran’s arguments, the Board finds that the specific, reasoned opinion of the medical examiner is more credible and of greater probative weight than the lay assertions of the Veteran that he had hepatitis C, rather than hepatitis A, in service (including the assertion that negative hepatitis A results in 2008 indicate the Veteran did not have hepatitis A in service). This finding is based on the medical examiner’s greater training, knowledge, and expertise than the Veteran in discussing medical etiologies. We also note that the examiner reported that individuals could have antibodies that are not detectable (detectable antibodies have disappeared).

This is disturbing news for any number of reasons. Ignoring the simple fact that the above highlighted in red is patently false, why is it that the finding is allowed to stand? One does not come down with a virus, heal and not obtain life-long immunity to it. This is especially true in Hepatitis A and B infections. If you have never had them, there can be no antibodies to them in the system. Conversely, anyone who has ever been infected carries the antibodies for life as well as immunity to any future infections. This is medical science 101.

VA has adroitly allowed the conversation to degenerate into a he said-she said argument as to whether it was Hepatitis C in 1971. There is no need to make that determination and Johnny Vet is not educated enough to make the call anyway. The simply blood test showing no Hepatitis A infection makes the whole decision an exercise in Bozo medical nexus letters. My apologies for taking Bozo’s name in vain.

http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/view.jsp?FV=http://www.va.gov/vetapp15/Files5/1544544.txt

I only hope this decision can illustrate just how flawed VA law is and how it is allowed to run rampant over legitimate claims. This is also a lovely example of what you get with your “free” legal representation from VSOs.

Here, although the Veteran was hospitalized with “hepatitis, infectious” during service, the July 2008 VA examiner determined that the type of hepatitis was that of hepatitis A. The Board finds the July 2008 VA medical opinion to be highly credible and probative evidence against a finding that the Veteran had hepatitis C in service. The opinion was well reasoned, based on a review of the record, and rendered by a medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health. The medical opinion indicated that one of the more common causes of acute hepatitis is the hepatitis A virus. The examination report also indicated that since the application of accurate serologic investigations in the 1980’s, the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and natural history of hepatitis A have become apparent. Thus, the Board finds that the Veteran was hospitalized with hepatitis A in service.

So, they said it was HAV in 1971. Since that has already been determined (in the absence of a simple blood test to prove the contrary), there is no need to go any further in this discussion. This is the famous VA bait and switch technique we see quite frequently. You are arguing no Hep A apples and VA is countering with no Hep C coconuts. The arguments are inapposite but that is what you get without proper legal help.

No Bozos

No Bozos

 

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in HCV Health, HCV Risks (documented), Jetgun BvA Decisions, Jetgun Claims evidence, Nexus Information, Veterans Law and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to BVA–WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ BLOOD LABS

  1. SPrice says:

    The part that says ….”history of TREATMENT for a previous infectious hepatitis, type unknown”

    You don’t give treatment for hepatitis A, you let it run its course. So if he got treatment it couldn’t have been hep A.

    • woodguy11 says:

      Well I had A in 1972 was in the hospital for 2 weeks. What do you mean treatment …drugs?

      • SPrice says:

        There is nothing they can give you to make hepatitis A go away. It goes away on its own.

          • asknod says:

            Remember also that Hepatitis A runs its course in 5-7 days. If you were in the hospital for two full weeks, chances are it was a mild case of Hepatitis B mixed with C. If your testing for A,B and C shows that you have had A, then you were having A with C simultaneously. I had a bad case of B in 1970 and spent 11 Jan 70 to 22 Feb 70 in a hospital. I lost about 20 lbs and was puke sick for most of it. I was put on light duty and taken off flight status for another six weeks afterwards. My doctor in 2007 wrote that I’d had B&C at the same time.

            • woodguy11 says:

              Well this medical report states that I had Hep AA positive But ya know according to my biopsy I had the virus somewhere either before boot camp or right at boot camp. Hep- A came 2 years later. I got rash and vomit fatigue brown urine and white stools. Hosp. for 2 weeks then light duty. The didn’t have a Hep-c test yet…1972 Boot camp 1969 biopsy 1995 stage 3 liver. Dr. called it acute viral hep.@ admission to hosp.

        • woodguy11 says:

          HepA was discovered Dec. 73 I had it Jan 73…… So it could have been Hep-c….symptoms are the same ….2 weeks in hosp. bed rest

  2. SPrice says:

    This is exactly why I tell you that claims should be approached as a team and your team should include a nurse.

    When you have hepatitis A you develop antibodies and become immune to hepatitis A and you can never get hepatitis A again. So I’d his test is negative for Hrp A that means he’s never had hepatitis A. The CDC says so.

    I can get the hospital’s Infection Control specialist to say so in a note. Let me know if you need it.

  3. woodguy11 says:

    I had Hep A in service and have the paper work for it. Then I must have had the C then also only there was no test for C yet. Could the A have been C ? Nexus time….I will get one from my Gastrointeroligist I hope S o civilian blood work will show antibodies from A-B Hep? emailed this to my case worker lawyer

    • SPrice says:

      Woodguy, I’m a little confused. When did you have hepatitis A? Do you have a positive test for hepatitis A? When was the test done? Are you saying that you had hepatitis A when you went to the hospital 7 weeks into boot camp?

      No, you usually don’t get hepatitis A and hepatitis C together. If you have hepatitis C and then you catch Hepatitis A you can get fulminant hepatitis and end up on the transplant list.

      If you had hepatitis A at any time in your life then a blood test will show you’re immune to it. If you’ve ever had hepatitis C you will have antibodies even if you got rid of the hep c on your own or with treatment.

      • woodguy11 says:

        had flu symptoms in boot camp which could have been the incubation period for the virus. couldn’t find records for this in C-File. was sick for 2 days and admitted to hosp. Had Hep=A when I came home from Nam and was Hosp. for 2 weeks. have record for this. Yes I got all my records for transplant and sent them to janesville , evidence intake center. Can get another copy if need be. It’s all on disk/. My transplant dr quit the hospital and went back to school to be an attorney and I cannot find him.

        • SPrice says:

          It would be great if you had records that show your two day admission during boot camp.

          • woodguy11 says:

            Yes it would ….Ft. Ord is no longer there….Timeline…..1969 boot camp ….1972 Ft Hood got Hep-a there. Have the paper work for this. Didn’t see the paper work for Boot camp hosp. stay 2 days. You know…this all happened so long ago I cannot remember everything that happened . Sorry. I don’t know if they will give me 2 c-files. I can get the UW Washington surgery records. There is alot of memory to look at. I didn’t bother looking through these. Just military records . Can I fire my attorney?

          • woodguy11 says:

            SPRICE…..I have the paper work for my stay in boot camp it says URT admit

      • woodguy11 says:

        I had it in 1972 in service

    • SPrice says:

      By the way, did you get your medical records from the doctor that did your transplant? You should because the doctor may have said something that can help you.

  4. david murphy says:

    More than a little crazy. My claim in 2008 for hep c had civilian blood work that stated no hep a or b antibodies and Houston rolled over in five months. Needs a real rep

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