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Information on Driving and Safety for people with POTS

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Within another thread of mine was an embedded discussion about driving and safety for those of us with ANS problems. Personally, I am still a safe driver and my doctors have no problems with me continuing to operate a vehicle so long as I continue to maintain my treatment regimen (take my medicines as prescribed, do any prescribed exercises) and as long as I continue to be free of syncope. I have NEVER fainted from a seated position, I've had very rare fainting episodes from a standing position, and all faints were related to either extreme heat, long periods of standing and/or extreme physical exertion combined with heat.

Most people with mild ANS problems are considered medically cleared to drive so long as they have been free of syncopal episodes for several months and are complying with their physician's treatment prescriptions.

I wanted to share with all of you that the Vanderbilt website has information specifically on this topic, which can be found at the following url


There is a good deal of text on the page, not all of it has anything to do with driving, so I've copied and pasted only the section on driving below (if you go to the URL, this text is at the very bottom of the page).

"Driving Issues Related to Syncope

Patients with mild neurally mediated syncope have no restrictions on driving private vehicles and should have a 1 month event-free period before driving commercial vehicles. Mild neurally mediated syncope is characterized by mild symptoms (usually without syncope), occurs with warning, usually occurs only with standing, and occurs infrequently.

Severe neurally mediated syncope is characterized by severe symptoms (usually syncope), occurs without warning, occurs in any position, has no clear precipitating causes or occurs frequently. These patients are allowed to drive private vehicles after 3 months of documented control of the condition and commercial vehicles after they have been symptom free for 6 months.

Untreated patients with severe neurally mediated syncope are completely prohibited from driving."

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Thanks for the info. I saw that in the other post and was a bit surprised. I think most people with POTS don't even faint, so consciousness is not an issue for most of us. I live in the city and luckily don't need to drive. I used to be dizzy nearly all of the time, and I wouldn't have dared to get behind a wheel. I've tried driving a few times since my POTS has started to improve and didn't have any problem. The key is that we get to sit down while driving! <_<


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Thanks for the info. I find driving to be a major problem. I am dizzy and spacey most of the time, and have not fainted for ages. But the FEAR of fainting or simply not being able to concentrate for long makes me very nervous about driving for more than about 10 minutes. I am sure that I have an undiagnosed anxiety about this, but does anyone else worry about it and does this stop them driving? Some days, when I feel ok I can drive without a problem, but when I am fatigued, spacey etc, I just can't do it.

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I've seen many more 'normal' people out there driving that frankly scare me. I'll take someone who is aware of their body and how they might feel and choose not to drive that day or pull over than some of the people I've noticed on the highways chatting along on their cells and not paying attention, putting on makeup, fixing their hair and believe it or not.....actually reading the paper or looking a catalog while driving! I've actually seen a guy have the paper open across the steering wheel and reading it while driving along! And lets not forget the all time favorite driving under the influence, we get alot in the ER, its scarey how many people out there are driving while intoxicated and cause accidents.

At least we are aware of our bodies and how we are feeling to determine if it is safe to drive that day.

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