Work restrictions on blood thinners

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I am a proffessional firefighter and had AVR surgury 4 weeks ago . I choose a Saint Jude valve knowing I would have to be on coumadin for life. I am hearing that I will not be allowed to do my job even after I am through rehab, because of the anticoagulant . My surgeon and cardiologist say I will e fine to go back to work but the city says not on coumadin. Any other police or firemen with valve replacement out there? Did you go back to full duty? How careful do you have to be on coumadin? Is this going overboard by the city ? I know there are NFPA rules in place but they don't make allot of sense given the advances in medicine these days. Any input is appreciated.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
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2,901
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louisville, KY USA
Hi. Sorry that nobody has answered your post but I guess we just don't know. You can search the forum and you will find similar posts from policeman and firefighters. Your problem is with city policy and you might try to get your docs to intervene for you.
 

Zeke

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Providence RI
Thanks , Doc already said he will clear me to work but can't make the city change thier mind. I understand it is a liability issue , was just wondering if anyone had success fighting it. I knew what I was up against when I picked a mechanical valve but was not gonna go through this again if I could help it! 24 years on a job I love , just hard to let go!
 

cldlhd

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Apr 9, 2014
Messages
1,276
Location
Levittown ,Pa 19054
I'm not on warfarin but following my surgery in February my surgeon had to sign off on a list of physical demands of my job. This was after he said I had NO restrictions.They had the right to to have their own doctor contest it but they didn't go that far. I ended up having the union and the surgeons nurse practitioner straighten it out.
 

rnff2

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
121
Location
Illinois
I sorry that I can't help and answer your question, but I would like to welcome you and say good luck. My husband is a firefighter and I can't imagine him having to give up his career. Do you have yearly physicals for your department, if so maybe that doctor can offer you some assistance with the city. Are you represented but a union, could they help? It's definitely a career worth fighting for. I wish you all the best!
 

Zeke

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Providence RI
Yes we have yearly physicals but that is the.problem. Others on my job have been told by these city doctors that they cannot work on anticoagulants. It seems that with modern in home testing epuipment for INR it Tis much safer than in the past. If your INR is where it should be( between 2 and 3 for AVR) it doesn' t really seem to be a big deal. Besides I am surrounded daily by EMTs and paramedics that know very well how to control bleeding. In my city we have 5 major hospitals which means I am a 5 minute rescue ride to an ER. What is ironic is the only other thing I am good at is commercial fishing. Which is what I will have to do if I can no longer be a fireman. Working miles offshore usually by my self , I guess I will have to rethink that.
My union has been some help but we are in a huge battle with the mayor over work hrs and overtime. You would think that the city would want to keep me on diuty so they wont have to fill my spot with overtime but they are not doing us any favors right now. I don' t know how to procceed . Do I try to fight it and use up all my sick Time or just retire. Never ran away from a fight yet , didn' t always win but I never gave up. My problem , Just venting. Life is about change right? If anyone is listening thanks! I will be fine. At least I am healing well , I know some have struggles. Prayers to all!
 

AZ Don

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Apr 23, 2013
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681
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Phoenix, AZ
Before making, or accepting a decision affecting your career it would be good to understand your options clearly. I think it might be worthwhile to consult a lawyer either through the union or on your own, as long as you can find someone trust worthy and not looking to drag you into a fight for their own benefit. Good luck
 

spartangator

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Jun 11, 2007
Messages
510
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New Englander living in Austin, Texas
Welcome, Zeke. Glad you're healing well, and I hope in searching the forums you can find some examples to build off. This issue does come up from time to time. While we may not have too many answers, but we're happy to help you think through it. I hope the union can offer some advice and representation to get this resolved. It seems silly for the department to lose so much experience.
 

rnff2

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
121
Location
Illinois
I totally understand the comfort level you have being surrounded by coworkers, medics and hospitals that can help you in an instant, but I believe it comes down to the FD being liable if something were to happen to you on duty. Would you be able to go off on disability? I would think if your cleared by your doctors and the city is refusing to let you come back then you should be eligible for disability. I have never understood the how's and whys they would rather pay OT etc makes so sense to me either. I can only imagine trying to get the union involved if they are already involved in other things. I know "past practices" are often looked at by FD, so if they have told others they can't work unfortunately you may be headed in that direction also. I would consider consulting a lawyer just to be sure, it will at least give you a piece of mind you did all you could if you do retire or go off on disability. I'm glad your well so soon after surgery, I scheduled for MVR tomorrow. Again, sorry I can't answer your questions specificly but maybe I gave you some things to consider. Best of luck to you!
 

Zeke

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Providence RI
Disability in my case is not an option. I was born with a BAV. Besides I don't think I am disabled. I have optoins , fortunately I can retire regular pension but its not enough to get by on. I will have to work . I love my job and my brothers! Just hate to out not on my own terms thats all. Time to start a new career ,at 50 , could be worse. Sorry I didn't see your post till now rnff2 . Hope all went well ! Speedy recovery!
 

honeybunny

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Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
1,023
Location
Outside Houston, Texas.
I agree that you need to pursue your options with a lawyer, private or union. I think you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to continue doing your job. That said, another thing you need to keep in mind is the risk to your own health and those of your coworkers, who may have to respond to you while they are dealing with an emergency situation. You don't want to put your brothers at risk if you have a medical emergency on the job. Ultimately, you are the only one who can take care of yourself. If you can afford to retire, I say go ahead with it and find another job.
 

Zeke

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Providence RI
I was hoping that I could get a spot where I could still serve a function but not " be on a truck" . That is becoming more unlikely daily as our union grapples with the Mayor about over time and work hours. We are big enough dept. to have numerous jobs not on the front line but all are taken right now. Doesn't seem like the city will let me hang around till one opens up. Its all about the $ , I get it . Was wondering if anyone in a similar position to mine has explored the ADA? I was thinking just to keep from getting fired till a " safe" spot opens up.
 

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