Medical certificate with a congenital heart defect

Anyone ever heard of someone getting a new license/renewing with a congenital heart defect? Are waivers frequent for this? Have never had any symptoms, only found out accidentally that its even there. Worried about losing the ol’ license over something I’ve been living fine with without knowing for 30+ years. Any wisdom or hearsay welcome.


Have you got a second opinion? When our oldest was 3 years old a pediatrician (a young doctor) told us our daughter had a heart murmur or a hole in her her heart. Yikes!! We went straight to the emergency room at the local children’s hospital. An older pediatrician did some simple tests in the examination room & discovered she had a harmless condition called “Venous Hum” that went away in a couple of years just as he predicted.

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I have a CHD issue and have had a waiver granted during my past two renewals.

There are a couple of things that you will need to do to get the waiver, and make sure you give the CG a lot more time than you think. My last renewal took nearly 4 months due to having to make multiple submissions and requested extra testing.

They will want documentation, test results, (Echo / Stress Test), a letter from you cardiologist detailing the particular treatment or monitoring regime as well as what they perceive your risk of the conditioning worsening. The most important statement on the letter from your doctor is “No Restrictions.”

You will need to keep good records and make sure you have copies of what you send into the coast guard, so that the next time you apply you keep your statements uniform.

If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.


Unfortunately I’ve done my due diligence on this and it is definitely there, unlikely to go away on its own at my age. Glad your daughter is alright though!

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Good to know! I’ll PM you with some questions If I can figure out how. Many thanks.

It might be waivable, and you may need to provide certain tests and other information. See the Merchant Mariner Medical Manual.

I have a slight murmur, irregular heartbeat and premature atricular contractions since birth.

I was flagged in MEPS for irregular heartbeat when I enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1987. I saw a cardiologist who had me wear a halter monitor for 24 hours.

He gave me a really good letter stating he was not placing any restrictions on my activities or recommending any treatment, and supported enlistment. I was able to enlist without a waiver.

I have only had one other person actually a Physicians Assistant student actually hear it and ask about it, since then.

Out of the too many to count physicals I have had over the years not one actual doctor was able to hear it.

So unless you are being examined by a sharp PA student or a cardiologist, it is very likely they will not detect it.

32 years later it has not been an issue at any of my careers, including my years on the FDNY.

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