Do I need an HGV for my driver medical?

Do I need an HGV for my driver medical?


Medical concept with heart and electrocardiogram results, close up

Do I need an HGV for my driver medical?

What is HGV?

An electrocardiogram (EKG or HGV) is a painless and non-invasive medical test carried out to detect any heart problems by measuring electrical activity of the heartbeat as it contracts.

The electrocardiograph displays data recorded electrical activity of the heart muscle as a trace on a screen or on a paper which can be later interpreted by a medical practitioner.
HGV graph varies from that of a healthy heart. Electrical activity may change depending on any irregularities in the heart rhythm or damage to the heart muscle.


Is it mandatory for driver medical?

Not all who have a driver medical in the UK need to have a cardiac test or HGV. Although, there are exceptional cases where extra tests may be required. If you are diagnosed with a cardiac problem, you will be asked to undergo a cardiac test during your drivers medical.

It is of utmost importance that you inform the driver and vehicle licensing agency (DVLA) and licensing authority if you are diagnosed with a heart condition. If the condition affects your driving, your driving and licenses will most likely be suspended for a certain time period. 

Once your health condition is under control, you will be advised to get a medical test and cardiac test to make sure you are ready to drive again. However, you be asked to provide driver medical fitness tests more frequently in the future based on the health condition you were diagnosed with and the treatment for the same. Your medicals will require extra check-ups including HGV based on you heart health.

Why HGV?

HGV or electrocardiogram is a customary heart test performed in the course of driver medicals in the UK. The HGV measures the electrical activity of your heartbeat that indicates any irregularities or signs of cardiovascular disease. 

HGV is a safe and painless procedure. In some cases, you might be asked to jog or walk on a treadmill during the session. This enables the doctor to assess your heart condition during a physical exertion. It is does not take long and you will not be asked to run for too long.
However, in stress HGV test, you will be expected to exercise for a bit.

An echocardiogram may be required to detect any other related heart disease which is performed to check the valves, muscles and function of the heart based on ultrasound.
In some cases, a 24-hour HGV may be needed to keep a constant check based on the type of heart condition along with a 24-hour blood pressure monitor.
You will be allowed to drive the as long as your symptoms are under control and you pass the medical test.
However, if you are diagnosed with any health condition that could impact your driving or if a pre-existing condition has elevated, you should inform DVLA and licensing authority and your doctor.

Why is it done?

To ensure the safety of the driver and public on the road, tests are mandatory. It also ensures that drivers are safe enough to drive private vehicle. 

Major heart conditions that are associated with drivers include heart failure, stroke and other heart diseases. Driving does not involve too much physical exertion. However, symptoms of heart attack include dizzy feeling, fainting feeling and black outs. These symptoms could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle which puts them, the passenger riding along and the public on the road in danger which puts the drivers in high-risk group.

Medical tests like HGV can detect underlying heart problem or show evidence of previous attacks, and monitoring the cardiac health of drivers before issuing the license can reduce the associated risks.

What to expect during HGV?

Does it hurt?

The procedure is painless and risk associated with electrocardiogram is zero. However, the person might experience minor discomfort upon removing HGV stickers.

Is it harmful?

It is not at all harmful. The electrodes only record the HGV and does not send any electricity into the body.

Before HGV procedure

The patient is expected to change into a hospital gown. The technician may shave the hair on the part of your body to make sure the electrode patches adhere to the skin. You will generally be asked to lie on an examining table or bed once you’re ready.

During HGV procedure

Up to 12 electrodes will be attached to your chest and limbs during an HGV procedure. The electrodes have sticky patches with extending wires that connect to a monitor. The electrical signals that make your heart beat are recorded in a computer which further is interpreted as waves on a monitor or on paper.

A standard HGV procedure takes a few minutes where you will be asked to breathe normally and stay still. During standard tests, the test results may distort if patient moves, talks or shivers. 

After the procedure

A fitness certificate will be given by the doctor to confirm to the DVLA stating that you’re healthy enough to drive a vehicle, if the reports are normal upon completing the test.

However, if the test reports show any abnormalities and does not match the medical requirements, you will be obligated to report it to the DVLA and you may be asked to get another HGV or other diagnostic tests. 

Barnetby Private Medicals offers HGV services for driver medical. Please ring us to make an appointment. 

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Areas we serve for HGV Medical