Driving and the heart

I thought I’d write this as the DVLA have updated their rules on driving and medical conditions.

They have made it clearer, particularly around ablation, pacemakers and defibrillators, but also for heart attacks

Ablation. For most ablations you can drive after 2 days and you don’t need to let the DVLA know you’ve had an ablation. It is different for VT ablations.

Pacemaker implants. You must let the DVLA know you have a pacemaker and you can drive a week after the procedure.

Defibrillators. You must let the DVLA know. For patients having as a preventative option, you can drive a month after the procedure. For other circumstances, talk to your cardiologist.

Heart attacks. You don’t need to let the DVLA know. If you have had stents, don’t need more stents within a month and your heart function (ejection fraction) is more than 40% then you can drive after a week. If these conditions don’t apply, for example you haven’t had stents, you can drive a month after your heart attack. This advice also applies to patients who have had a type 2 heart attack (there’s a post coming on that!)

Fainting. Also known as transient loss of consciousness (TLOC). This is a really tricky area and it’s important to get advice from your doctor. For common faints such as vasovagal syncope, driving is not restricted. However, if there are unexplained episodes of transient loss of consciousness you must let the DVLA know and your licence will be refused or revoked for 6 months.

Personal advice. It can be tricky to know what to do, particularly if your job depends on driving. I’m always happy to see people and discuss their condition and the driving regulations. Call my secretary on 020 3369 6521 to book in or drop us an email.

The comments above are for ordinary car licenses only. This is uptodate at the time of writing, but it’s always good to check the definitive version on the Government website in case there’s been any change. This summary only includes some of the most common conditions, there is more detail in the rules themselves.

The rules are different for ordinary car licenses and for bus and lorry drivers who are held to a higher standard. These higher bus and lorry standards are often applied to Taxi or minibus drivers but this is determined by Transport for London or the local council. Other occupational drivers may have these higher standards applied at the discretion of their employer.


Leave a ReplyCancel reply