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When a Lorry Driver Has a Heart Attack

When a Lorry Driver Has a Heart Attack

Have you ever wondered what happens when a lorry driver has a heart attack? It’s a thought that no one particularly wants to think about. However, unfortunately, this is not the end of your career.

Bus and lorry drivers suffer from a higher likelihood of heart disease. have numerous restrictions in place to ensure they remain safe on the roads. Today, we’re looking at some of the key things you should know about heart attacks as a lorry driver. Hopefully, this may help you understand a little more about what happens when a lorry driver has a heart attack.

What Happens when a Lorry Driver Has a Heart Attack

A lorry driver has a massively important job to do. As such, a great deal of responsibility rests on their shoulders. Indeed, lorry drivers are operating exceptionally heavy machinery, requiring full attention at all times.

However, the consequences can be severe when a lorry driver suffers a heart attack. As such, the regulations surrounding lorry drivers are incredibly strict, even moreso than for car and motorcycle drivers.

When Lorry Drivers Experience a Heart Attack on the Road

After noticing pain, a lorry driver suspecting they may have an oncoming heart attack should pull over at the first possible safe opportunity. They should then bring the vehicle to a full stop and notify an ambulance team if the symptoms continue to worsen.

If a lorry driver suffers a full heart attack while driving, they will lose control of their vehicle. Naturally, this represents a significant danger to themselves and all other road users. As such, we cannot stress the importance of early intervention highly enough.

You must call 999 immediately.

Driving After Suffering a Heart Attack

If you’ve suffered a heart attack at any point, you must inform the DVLA immediately and must refrain from driving.

The DVLA requirements for Lorry and Bus drivers are:

You must not drive and you MUST Notify DVLA

Your licence will be refused / revoked

You can get relicensed if you meet the following requirements.

  1. Minimum 6 weeks off driving
  2. You carry out a functional test (see below)
  3. You have had an ultrasound scan of the heart (echocardiogram) which shows your heart is pumping out at least 40%.
  4. There is no other disqualifying condition

What are Functional Tests

There are 2 functional tests which can be used after you have a heart attack as a lorry driver.

  1. Exercise tolerance test
  2. stress echocardiogram

Exercise Tolerance Test

Following a heart attack, the functional test which is needed is an exercise ECG. This is where you walk on a treadmill with an ECG attached to your chest. You walk for 9 minutes as the treadmill goes on an incline. You must complete the whole 9 minutes without your ECG showing signs of decreased blood supply to your heart.

What if you can’t walk for 9 minutes?

Stress Echocardiogram

If for any reason you are unable to walk on a treadmill for 9 minutes e.g. you have arthritis of the knee etc. You can do a Stress echocardiogram.

A substance is injected into your arm. This makes your heart race. The scan then looks for any signs of decreased blood supply to the heart.

These tests need to be done on a 3 yearly basis.

Final Thoughts on a Heart Attack as A Lorry Driver

Having a heart attack as a lorry driver is not the end of your career. Understandably, the requirements are very strict. As long as you pass the above 3 criteria you will be able to drive again. You just need to be patient while these tests are being organised.

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Ultimately, It all starts with your HGV medical.

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This article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for medical treatment.



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