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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.