Was in for a pre-employment physical and the examining physician did a short EKG. He put my approval on hold pending examine by a cardiologist saying that I had Premature Ventricular Contractions. So I am in contact with a local Cardiologist to make an appointment for evaluation and a stress test. The doctor that performed the physical said he wanted to know what my METS level is. I will not be able to continue with the rest of the physical until cleared by a cardiologist. Scared would be an understatement. I am a 54 yr old male, 6'4" tall and weigh 315 lbs., BP at time of physical was 145/90 and I am currently not taking medication for blood pressure. I have no prior history of heart disease or problems at all. Additionally, due to a deviated septum I use a nasal decongestant quite frequently te relieve a stuffy nose. And, prior to yesterday was a moderate consumer of caffeine; drinking 2-3 cups of coffee daily.
It's a Catch 22 situation. The job I am working now offers no health benefits. The new employment, in my career field, offers comprehensive health benefits for me and my family. I am willing to make any lifestyle changes mandated by my cardiologist, but I cannot afford to continue follow ups and such with no health insurance. I don't even know if I can pay for the evaluation and stress test at this time.
So my question is: Are Premature Ventricular Contractions a disqualifier for employment with no history of prior heart disease or problems? As a note, my employment is in the maritime industry as a captain on a deep water drilling support vessel. I have over 20 years experience in this field. I am quite concerned that I may not be able to continue in my career field as a result of the findings in the physical exam. Or, could it be that the examining physician just wanted clearance from a specialist prior to proceeding with my employment approval?
Premature Ventricular contractions (PVC's) are very common and are seen at some point in almost everyone. The majority of people do not even know that they are having these premature beats. It is possible that the nasal decongestant and coffee may be causing you to have more of these beats than the normal person.
I suspect that your primary physician wanted to make sure that he was doing the right thing hence the consultation with the cardiologist. I would visit the cardiologist and explain the situation to him. I would be surprised if this would be something that would keep you from being able to qualify for your job.
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