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Heart-Related Questions on DOT Physical Answered

Spring Hill Urgent Care

Heart disease is a major health risk for many truck drivers in the U.S.. A study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine showed that more than half of truck drivers have at least a couple of these unhealthy lifestyles: smoking, less than six hours of sleep per day, lack of physical activity, obesity and high blood pressure.

If you’re a commercial driver with a history of heart condition, you might be apprehensive about passing your DOT physical examinations to obtain, or renew your commercial driver’s license. 

Below are some answers to your heart-related questions if you wish to be certified at DOT physical, Hernando County.

1. What cardiovascular diseases may disqualify me from my job?

According to the law, truck drivers recently diagnosed with conditions listed below should be off the road temporarily until a cardiologist gives them an all-clear:

  • Angina pectoris, or chest pains due to narrowed arteries
  • Coronary insufficiency
  • Myocardial infarction, or a heart attack
  • Thrombosis, or blood clot
  • Any cardiovascular diseases that have resulted in a collapse, congestive cardiac failure, dyspnea and syncope

Drivers who have undergone a coronary artery bypass may still be qualified to drive. However, if they wear implanted pacemakers they could be disqualified. 

2. How long before I can be cleared to drive again after recovering from a heart attack or.a bypass?  

The law requires a two to three-month rest from work for drivers who have had a heart attack or bypass surgery. If you wish to return to work, you must first pass the Ejection Fraction and Exercise Tolerance Test and get a clearance from a cardiologist. This test ensures that you’re no longer at high risk for heart failure. 

3. Can I still drive if I have stents? 

Some drivers with temporary tubular support in their blood vessels return to work a week after the procedure because they got an all-clear from the cardiologist. For these drivers, the law requires that they must pass another Exercise Tolerance Test three, or six months after the stent procedure. They must also undergo the tolerance test every other year to maintain their medical certification. 

4. Can I get medical clearance if I have a defibrillator? 

While defibrillators are designed to correct heart problems as they occur, some states pose a limit to drivers with this apparatus. You may likely be approved to drive, but not be qualified to drive interstate with this condition.

The doctor might still require further evaluation for why you need the defibrillator, especially if you have recurring heart issues. The doctor must clear or ascertain that the underlying condition will not put you at risk during a long drive.

5. What if I take nitroglycerine to manage my angina? 

Nitroglycerine won’t disqualify you, but the doctor may need to conduct more tests to confirm that your angina is stabilized before issuing your medical certification. 

In some cases, even if you have been given a medical certification by the doctor, you still might not be allowed to go back on the road for a month or two by your company’s safety director. 

Understand that giving yourself full time to recover ensures your own, and the public’s safety. 

Getting a DOT physical in Lifeguard Urgent Care Spring Hill walk in clinic

Remember, during a DOT physical in Hernando County, our doctors are focused on ensuring that the patients meet the minimum federal criteria. However, your employer could have more stringent requirements.

If you need to get your DOT physical hassle-free, come to Lifeguard Urgent Care. Located in Spring Hill, we accept walk-in patients without an appointment. Still have questions about the DOT physical or want to be sure you’re prepared? Check out our FAQ or contact us at (352) 515-6000.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


How To Prepare For Your DOT Physical

DOT physical Hernando County

According to state law, all commercial drivers in Florida are required to take the Department of Transportation (DOT) health exam every 24 months. The required fitness test determines whether a person is fit to safely operate a commercial vehicle. Drivers who successfully pass their DOT physicals receive a DOT card valid for two years and are permitted to operate a commercial vehicle. The whole DOT physical examination is a quick process, at the same time, it is also critically important.

To help you better prepare for your DOT health examination. DOT physical in Hernando County will be providing you with information about the things you should prepare before your DOT physicals.

  • Lay off energy drinks and coffee for 24 hours before your scheduled DOT physical

Caffeinated drinks have the capacity to raise your blood pressure, which will result in being permanently restricted or disqualified. For instance, the normal blood pressure is 120/80, if it becomes higher than that approximately 140/90 the results of your DOT health exam will not turn out good. Therefore, be prepared by avoiding caffeinated drinks or stimulants such as coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and certain cold and allergy medications.

  • Limit your salt intake a week before your DOT exam

Too much salt intake can elevate your blood pressure. The main sources of salt are: processed foods, salty meats such as ham, bacon and sausages, chips and canned goods. A week before your DOT physical, those are the foods you should avoid to prevent having high blood pressure.

  • Get a good night sleep and wake up early so you don’t feel rushed

Make sure you have a good night’s sleep before your DOT physical so you feel relaxed. If you arrive at the facility feeling rushed, tired or even fatigued, it can hugely affect your health as well as your blood pressure.

  • Take all your usual medications as soon as you wake up in the morning

This is very important, especially for individuals with diabetes and hypertension. A missed dose of your blood pressure medication may result in elevated blood pressure that may occur during the DOT exam. Also, remember to bring all your medications in their original bottles to show the doctor.

DOT physical Hernando County

  • Avoid eating big meals before your DOT physical

This is very important, especially with individuals who have diabetes. Having a large meal before your DOT physical triggers a spilling of sugar in your urine test which may result in abnormal urinalysis. Thus, eat something that is light and healthy.

Also,don’t forget to drink plenty of cold water to be well hydrated and so you can provide urine specimen, doing so also lowers your blood pressure.

  • Come to your DOT physical appointment prepared

Before your DOT physical examination appointment make sure you have all the proper documents with you, including your medical report history and a list of our current medications or prescriptions. You should also arrive wearing your eyeglasses or lenses for the eye test.

Following the tips listed above and maintaining a positive attitude will allow you to have a pleasant experience during your DOT physical examination.

If you still have a question or concern that we didn’t address, talk to our professional staff to find out more about a DOT physical in Hernando County. Our highly-trained staff will happily walk you through a DOT physical exam and make sure that it’s as stress-free as possible. We value our patients and will make sure that you won’t get wrongly disqualified. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

DOT physical Hernando County

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.