Can a driver with lung disease get a DOT medical card?

The medical examiner will evaluate your condition to determine how the lung disease may affect your ability to safely drive and perform other duties of a commercial driver. If you don’t have a medical opinion letter from a treating physician, you may need to go for a chest x-ray or pulmonary function tests before the medical examiner can consider certification.

Is the use of oxygen therapy a disqualifier?

Most likely, yes, oxygen therapy while driving is a disqualifier. The reasons are twofold: 1. Malfunction of the oxygen equipment. 2. Progression of the disease may be debilitating. You may be considered if you can pass a pulmonary function test.

I was recently diagnosed with COPD from exhaust leak in my semi. Can I lose my CDL because of this diagnosis?

The diagnosis of COPD is not, by itself a disqualifier for your cdl. It will/may have an effect while doing your medical examination and certification. Your best bet is to take any and all notation from your primary lung doctor with you when you re-do your medical exam and certificate. The examiner just needs to make sure your are fit to return to work without being a risk to yourself or the public at large.

Can I still drive if I have a blood clot in the lung?

With the blood clot in the lung, you want to make sure you bring a note from you pulmonary specialist stating you are good to go. The medical examiner will need a copy for your file when he does the exam.

I had lung surgery and a lobectomy a few years ago . Will this fail me on a DOT physical?

In and of itself, the lobectomy should not be an issue. But what was the reasoning behind the surgery? Your examiner will have other questions regarding the surgery and what its long term effects are, as well as, how it affects your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

What does neck size, weight, and BMI have to do with the DOT physical exam?

Neck size, weight, and BMI are all just indicators that the medical examiner looks at to determine if you may have a condition that would impact your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle now or for the period for which the medical card may be issued. There are currently no set specifics on these measurements in the DOT regulations. However, companies may set their own policies and have their own standards for these indicators, which may disqualify you to drive for that particular company.

What does snoring have to do with the DOT physical exam?

Snoring, in combination with obesity, can be highly predictive of obstructive sleep apnea risk. That said, even the loudest of snorers may not have a breathing obstruction. The sign that is most suggestive of sleep apnea occurs when snoring stops. If both snoring and breathing stop while the person’s chest and body try to breathe, that is literally a description of an event called an ‘apnea’. When breathing starts again, there is typically a deep gasp and then the resumption of snoring.

For the DOT physical exam the medical examiner evaluates your overall physical condition and health history to determine if there are signs of a medical condition that may affect your ability to safely drive a CMV. If the medical examiner has reasonable suspicion that you have sleep apnea you may have to go for an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram before you can be further considered for certification.