Fainting

Also known as Syncope, Falling out, Blacking out, Fainting spells, Passing out, and Swooning

Syncope (/ˈsɪŋkəpi/ SING-kə-pee), the medical term for fainting or passing out, is precisely defined as a transient loss of consciousness and postural tone, characterized by rapid onset, short duration, and spontaneous recovery, due to global cerebral hypoperfusion (low blood flow to the brain) that most often results from hypotension (low blood pressure). This definition of syncope differs from others by including the cause of unconsciousness, i.e. transient global cerebral hypoperfusion. Without that addition, the definition of syncope would include disorders such as epileptic seizures, concussion or cerebrovascular accident and syncope is distinguished from coma, which can include persistent states of unconsciousness. This confusion still occurs in some literature.

Source: Wikipedia

What causes it?

The most common causes of fainting are hypovolemia, alcohol abuse, and sinus bradycardia. Other possible causes, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd), are more rare.

What symptoms are related?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with fainting, 57% report having dizziness, 38% report having headache, and 30% report having weakness.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with fainting often receive hematologic tests, complete blood count, electrocardiogram, radiographic imaging procedure, kidney function tests, intravenous fluid replacement, glucose measurement and electrolytes panel .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with fainting include midodrine, fludrocortisone, dalteparin (fragmin), isoproterenol, magnesium amino acid chelate, potassium bicarbonate, levocabastine ophthalmic, acellular pertussis vaccine (adacel), aspirin / caffeine / propoxyphene, milrinone, protriptyline, aminophylline and tranexamic acid .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for fainting include age 75+ years.

Age

< 1 years
0.1x
1-4 years
0.2x
5-14 years
0.9x
15-29 years
1.0x
30-44 years
0.8x
45-59 years
0.9x
60-74 years
1.1x
75+ years
2.3x

Sex

Male
1.0x
Female
1.0x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.9x
Hispanic
0.7x
White
1.1x
Other
1.0x
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