BLACKOUT (FAINTING)

Fainting happens when you lose consciousness for a short amount of time because the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. The medical term for fainting is syncope, but it’s more commonly known as “passing out.” A fainting spell generally lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Symptoms:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Loss of balance or orientation

DIAGNOSIS

Fainting usually isn’t a cause for concern, but it can be a symptom of a serious medical problem in some cases. A sudden onset of fainting spells or a number of fainting spells in a given period may require medical consultation.

Depending on the findings from a thorough history and physical examination, the doctor may order additional tests. Tests may include those to rule out a cardiac problem:

  • Holter monitorechocardiogram, which is a test that uses sound waves to produce a moving picture of your heart
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Head CT scan

 

TREATMENT

Treatment for fainting will depend on a doctor’s diagnosis. If there are no underlying medical conditions causing the fainting spells, treatment is generally not needed.

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