Medical & HealthNews and debate about medical and health issues as they relate to aircrews and aviation. Any information gleaned from this forum MUST be backed up by consulting your state-registered health professional or AME.
Would being nervous affect your ECG enough to have to repeat it? I had a high heart rate (around 115bpm), but I am nervous of doctors! My pulse is normally between 60-75bpm, and 75bpm would be moderately active.
You should be fine. I am sure that they are looking for any conduction problems in your heart rather than the rate. When I went for my initial class one at Gatwick my Pulse rate was up a bit due to nerves, they said that it was quite normal to be nervous for something that was the key to your future career.
Good luck for the medical, though I am sure you wont need it!
A few tips that lower the BP / Pulse rate pre-medical that work for me.....
(1) Have some light exercise the previous evening. You don't need to run the 4 minute mile or do a 'No pain, No gain' workout in the gym, just a good walk. This will help in getting a good night's sleep.
(2) Get a good night's sleep. Tiredness definately leads to an elevated BP / Pulse rate. In the same sense, don't go directly to the medical from work.
(3) Book an early morning medical. BP / Pulse rate is at it's lowest in the morning.
(4) Avoid all stimulants for several hours before the medical, coffee, cigarettes and the like. This alone drops my BP by 20 points or so.
(5) Arrive deliberately early, and wait your turn in the queue. Anxiety over a late / missed appointment will raise your BP / Pulse rate, and it's difficult to have a high pulse rate when you're bored reading 6 year old doctor's magazines.
(6) Most of all, TELL the doctor that you suffer from 'medical allergy', they're familiar with the syndrome, and a good one will make due allowance for it.
I also have a similar problem, I am not good with doctors and never have been. I have always had an elevated heart rate whilst doing my medicals. On one of my ECG's my pulse rate was high, I was asked to have it checked out, which I did and all was ok. Now that's on record, no problem from there on. My BP is also a little high due to this, but now I monitor it myself at home for a few weeks prior to my medical, as a sort of history, and present this to the GP. After a couple of years it is known and taken into consideration. No problem.
Thanks for all the replies. I did a repeat ECG, with the same result. Then, I had an echo-cardiogram, and the cardiologist found nothing wrong. My high pulse rate was caused by nerves, which affected the ECG, but hopefully now I will get my medical, not have to worry about the ECG in the future, and can focus on becoming a pilot.
b747heavy, Just wondering how you monitor your BP at home? Do the CAA require it? Also, to have it on record with the CAA, did you have to send them the results of an echo-cg or just a letter from your cardiologist?
Again, thanks for all the replies, really helpful. Best regards!
I monitor my BP with an off the shelf automatic monitor that you can buy almost anywhere (at least where I am). Not expensive. It is not required as a part of my medical that I do so, I just do it for my own piece of mind and as some history when the time comes.
Like many things, when you do them for the first time, you are anxious about it and your body/brain reacts in different ways to cope with it. If it is something as important as a medical that plays a big part in a career for example, I think your system becomes 'trained' to react this way each time due to the weight of the situation. Then each time you go back, you remember what happened last time and the results are somewhat the same etc.
It was suggested to me that as a part of overcoming this that I monitor my BP at home and 'teach' my system that there is noting to worry about. My BP is normal when at home. In a way, I try to condition myself to being a little calmer about these sort of things when in the hot seat.
I did have an echo-CG as well as a 24 hour holter, but this was more of a precautionary thing as I remember walking into the office of the cardiologist and he looked at my ECG and said "everythings normal, but..." and the 'but' was one of those 'we'll just check a couple of things to make sure and give me lost of money...' My records are on file with my aviation medical branch and I keep a copy for reference if req'd.
At the end of the day, no problems.
I would think that as your cardologist found nothing wrong that all will be