Our Emergency Room doctors use an internal hotline to confer with an Aurora syncope specialist — day or night — to make sure you get just the right treatment.
Syncope (pronounced SINK-oh-pee) is the medical term for fainting or temporarily passing out.
It happens when the amount of blood flowing to your brain suddenly drops. Your body “resets” itself by prompting you to lose consciousness, usually just for a minute or two. You may feel slightly confused for a short while after you regain consciousness.
Syncope can be caused by something easily treatable, like dehydration, or by something life-threatening like a dangerous, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
Because many serious, underlying medical conditions can cause fainting, our experts take extra steps to pinpoint what made you pass out. If you or a loved one is brought to one of our Emergency Rooms (ERs) after a temporary loss of consciousness, your expert care will include:
If you have syncope, you occasionally faint or pass out. That is the main symptom.
However, you may experience several other symptoms before you faint:
Syncope, or fainting, is a common condition. About 3% of men and 3.5% of women will faint at least once in their lives, according to the Framingham Heart Study.
Syncope occurs when your brain does not get enough blood, due to a change in your blood pressure, your heart rate or the amount of blood in certain parts of your body. It can be triggered by something easily correctable, such as forgetting to eat or drink, or it can be a symptom of a more serious condition.
Common causes of fainting episodes include:
If your medical team determines that your fainting episode is very likely a one-time event, they will reassure you of that right away. Your doctor will also spend time educating you about fainting and common causes, so you can avoid this uncomfortable experience in the future.
If you have a fainting episode that is not easily explained, your Aurora Health Care provider may order some diagnostic tests to get more information. Common tests include:
Your doctor will work with you on a customized treatment plan that may include:
You may be at a higher risk of fainting if you have any of the following health conditions: