Archive for the 'syncope' Category

Syncope

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Syncope, fainting, a sudden, usually temporary, loss of consciousness generally caused by insufficient oxygen in the brain either through cerebral hypoxia or through hypotension, but possibly for other reasons. A pre- or near-syncope is diagnosed if the individual can remember events during the loss of consciousness (i.e., reports remembering dizziness, blurred vision, and muscle weakness, and the fall previous to hitting his or her head and losing consciousness). As loss of consciousness is a symptom for a variety of conditions and syncope is difficult to rule out outside of a hospital, a thorough examination is required in order to determine the cause, including interviews with witnesses as well as evaluation with an electrocardiogram. If the individual remembers feeling dizzy and loss of vision, but not the fall, then it is considered a syncoptic episode. Typical symptoms progress through dizziness, clamminess of the skin, a dimming of vision or greyout, possibly tinnitus, complete loss of vision, weakness of limbs to physical collapse. These symptoms falling short of complete collapse, or a fall down, may be referred to as a syncoptic episode.