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FAINTING/SYNCOPE

Syncope is defined as a transient, self-limited loss of consciousness with an inability to maintain postural tone that is followed by spontaneous recovery. It is characterized by a fast onset, short duration, and spontaneous recovery. It is due to a decrease in blood flow to the entire brain usually from low blood pressure. 

Symptoms

  • Prior faintness, dizziness, or light-headedness
  • Prior vertigo, weakness, diaphoresis (excessive sweating), epigastria discomfort, nausea, blurred or faded vision, pallor, or paresthesias
  • Exceptional onset, chest pain, dyspnea(shortness of breath), low back pain, palpitations, severe headache, focal neurologic deficits, diplopic, ataxia, or dysarthria

Causes

Central nervous system ischemia

Vertebro-basilar arterial disease

  • Vasovagal

  • Deglutition (Swallowing) syncope

  • Cardiac arrhythmias

  • Obstructive cardiac lesion

  • Blood pressure (orthostatic hypotensive faints)

  • Hypoglycaemia

  • Psychological 

Treatment

Management is always symptomatic and according to cause. Treatment may require the following:

Intravenous access

Oxygen administration

Advanced airway techniques

Glucose administration

Pharmacologic circulatory support

Pharmacologic or mechanical restraints

Defibrillation or temporary pacing