What is Atrioventricular Block?

What is Atrioventricular Block?

Heart block, also known as atrioventricular block, is a disorder in the heart’s rhythm due to a fault in the natural pacemaker. This is caused by an obstruction, or block, in the electrical conduction system of the heart.

Atrioventricular block, or AV block is a type of heart block that occurs when the electrical signal traveling from the atria, or the upper chambers of the heart, to the ventricles, or the lower chambers of the heart, is impaired. In an AV block, the electrical signal is either delayed or completely blocked. When the signal is completely blocked, the ventricles produce their own electrical signal to control the heart rate.

Symptoms of AV block may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • The feeling that the heart skips a beat

How to Get VA Disability Rating?

To establish a service connection for AV block veterans must demonstrate: (1) a current diagnosis of AV block; (2) an in-service event, injury, or illness; and (3) a medical link between the current diagnosis and in-service event.

Veterans can also be eligible for a secondary service connection if they are able to show that their AV block is “at least as likely as not” caused or aggravated by a primary service connected condition.

How is Atrioventricular Block Rated?

A physician performing a veteran’s exam will take a MET test for any heart condition. A MET test, or exercise test, checks for how much oxygen is being used by the body to perform increasingly strenuous tasks. 1 MET is the amount of oxygen a person uses while at rest.

Rating Symptoms
100% If there is one or more of the following: (1) continuous congestive heart failure; (2) The condition scores 3 METs or less on an MET test and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, or fainting; or (3) Left ventricular dysfunction with an ejection fraction of less than 30%
60% If there is one or more of the following: (1) Two or more episodes of congestive heart failure in the past year; (2) The condition scores 4 or 5 METs and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, or fainting; or (3) Left ventricular dysfunction with an ejection fraction between 30 and 50%
30% If there is one or more of the following: (1) The condition scores 6 or 7 METs on a MET test and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, or fainting; or (2) Evidence (x-ray, electro-cardiogram, or echocardiogram) or hypertrophy or dilation
10% If there is one or more of the following: (1) The condition scores 8, 9, or 10 METs and causes shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, or fainting; or (2) continuous medication is required
If a pacemaker is required

Veterans Help Group have been supporting veterans in getting the benefits they deserve since 1995. If you or a loved one served, and suffer from atrioventricular, we are here to help. Call Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.

 

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