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Fainting (cont.)

Fainting Prevention

Preventive measures depend on the cause and the severity of the fainting problem. Fainting can sometimes be prevented by taking simple precautions.

  • If you faint in hot rooms, the solution is obvious: Avoid hot rooms.
  • If you faint while standing up from a lying down position, take care to move slowly when standing up. Move slowly to a sitting position and rest a few minutes. When you are ready, stand up, using slow and fluid movements.

In other cases, the cause of fainting can be elusive. Several visits to your health care practitioner may be needed to establish a pattern of when fainting occurs and thus lead to a diagnosis. Once the cause is determined, treatment can be started to prevent further episodes.

Cardiac syncope: Because of the high risk of death from cardiac syncope, people who experience it and their family members must understand the disease and its treatment (especially controlling the condition through diet and medications).

  • Follow the recommendations of your health care practitioner precisely.
  • Take prescribed medications regularly.

Recurrent syncope: See your health care practitioner about testing to establish a diagnosis if you faint periodically. Ask your health care practitioner about driving. Many states have laws applying to people who have a history of losing consciousness.

Fainting Prognosis

The prognosis of a person who has fainted depends greatly on the underlying cause, age of patient and available treatments. Cardiac syncope carries the highest chance of sudden death especially in the elderly. Fainting that is not associated with cardiac or neurologic disease, however, presents a more limited risk although it is higher than in the general population.

Checking for the pulse in the neck. The pulse is felt just beside the throat (trachea). If a pulse is felt, note whether it is regular and count the number of beats in 15 seconds. The heart rate (beats per minute) is this number multiplied by 4. Try this on yourself! A normal adult heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Checking for the pulse in the neck. The pulse is felt just beside the throat (trachea). If a pulse is felt, note whether it is regular and count the number of beats in 15 seconds. The heart rate (beats per minute) is this number multiplied by 4. Try this on yourself! A normal adult heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

MedicineNet.com. Fainting.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Syncope and Related Paroxysmal Spells »

Syncope is a term used to describe the loss of consciousness from temporary disruption of cerebral oxygenation.

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