At Miami Accident Center, Dr. Dean Zusmer, DC is frequently asked, “What does a DOT physical exam consist of?” One of the first things we stress, in terms of importance in regards to passing the DOT physical exam, is acceptable blood pressure – blood pressure that meets DOT blood pressure requirements.
What is blood pressure and how is it tested at Miami DOT physical exam locations?
The definition of blood pressure:
When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure.
When you have a DOT physical exam – at any of the approved DOT physical exam locations – your blood pressure is part of the DOT medical exam.
How is blood pressure measured in the DOT physical exam in Miami?
Blood pressure is always measured with a cuff – either on the upper arm or wrist. The reading will consist of two numbers – the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.
- The systolic pressure is the top number (such as the 120 in 120/80) and reflects the top pressure when your heart beats.
- The diastolic pressure is the bottom number (such as the 80 in 120/80) and is the lowest pressure your heart reaches when it relaxes between beats.
What should your blood pressure be as measured in the DOT physical exam in Miami?
In general, a “good” top number is 110 or below and a “good” bottom number is around 70 or slightly lower.
All Miami DOT physical exam locations – and doctors as a whole (following medical guidelines) – really want all their patients to have a blood pressure no higher than 120 on the top number and 80 on the bottom number.
For the DOT physical exam, however, there are specific guidelines for passing in terms of DOT blood pressure requirements.
Here are the general DOT blood pressure requirements again:
- If the DOT physical finds a blood pressure of 140/90 or less, the driver can be DOT certified for 2 years.
- If the DOT physical finds a blood pressure of 140 – 159 on the top and / or 90-99 on the bottom classifies as Stage 1 hypertension and the driver can be DOT certified for 1 year; subsequent years should be 140/90 or better.
- If the DOT physical exam finds a BP of 160-179 on top and / or 100-109, the patient is classified as having Stage 2 hypertension. In this case, a 3 month DOT physical certification can be given along with medication. If within the 3 month period, the blood pressure gets to 140/90 or less, the driver can get the 1 year DOT certification and must then take the DOT physical yearly.
- If the DOT physical medical exam finds a blood pressure at or greater than 180/110, unfortunately, this DOT medical exam result would disqualify the candidate from getting DOT physical certification until such time as a test shows 140/90 and then, the candidate must be re-checked every 3 months.
Therefore, while there are obviously several other answers to the question, “What does a DOT physical exam consist of?” blood pressure is an important one.
Why does the DOT physical care so much about blood pressure in the DOT physical exam?
- When a person’s blood pressure is too high, this puts increased strain on arteries (and your heart!), putting that person at increased risk for stroke or a heart attack.
- Since DOT drivers are operating large vehicles on often crowded roads, an increased risk for either of these medical conditions puts not only the driver with uncontrolled high blood pressure at risk, but also puts all the other people on the road in danger too.
- The high level of responsibility carried by the DOT driver and his / her employer – is why DOT physical itself carries such a high level of weight in the driver hiring and employment process.
- However, just remember – many DOT physical locations still manually check blood pressure. And with manual testing, the blood pressure reading is only as accurate as the skill of the person performing the test.
That’s why it’s vital to choose carefully from the many DOT physical exam locations in Miami.
If your blood pressure reading is high for the first time during your DOT medical exam – or higher than you’ve known it to be – always ask for a re-check and if necessary, a second opinion. For professional drivers, it’s vital that the blood pressure test for DOT blood pressure requirements verification – above all others – be performed correctly and accurately.
DOT Physical Exam Office Locations
Dr. Dean Zusmer has many office locations throughout Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties. At his offices he provides chiropractic services along with CDL Medical Exam & DOT Physical exams. Although recommended, no appointment is necessary for your DOT physical. By calling ahead, we offer No-Wait Same-Day CDL physical exams, Same-Day CDL medical cards upon exam completion and provide free valet parking.
Contact Dr. Dean Zusmer today to set up your DOT Physical Exam Near Me at any of our locations!
National Registry Of Certified Medical Examiners #8668616912.
Additional locations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.