Fainting (Syncope) - Treatments

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What is the treatment for fainting (syncope)?

Fainting is not normal, although the cause may not be serious. When in doubt, calling 911, activating the emergency medical system, and seeking medical care is appropriate. It is always appropriate to seek medical care.

If the episode is short-lived and the person returns to normal function with no evidence of injury, it may be appropriate to contact the primary care practitioner to discuss care options.

If the person is not breathing and no pulse can be felt, 911 should be activated, an AED placed, and bystander CPR should be initiated.

In the ambulance, hospital, or doctor's office, because the potential life-threatening causes of syncope need to be initially considered; often a patient who complains of fainting (syncope) will be placed on a heart monitor, have an intravenous line placed, and oxygen supplied. A fingerstick blood sugar may be checked to look for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Further treatment will be tailored to the specific cause of the fainting or syncope based upon the patient's evaluation.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Melly26, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: February 09

I was home at night and I was standing watching TV (in a normal lit room). Then, I got dizzy for some apparent reason. I tried to turn around and walk to the kitchen to get some water, but before I can even start walking, my vision got fuzzy and I blacked out. Next thing I know, I'm on the floor excruciating pain on my neck and arm. It turns out when I fell, I hit my neck on my glass table. My dad did some research and found out that most likely I fainted because of stress, too much caffeine, or lack of potassium.

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Comment from: PanicG1rl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I have been experiencing fainting spells for about 3 years now. I have panic disorder, uterine fibroids and ulcers. The last time I passed out, I also had a seizure. I feel like I am getting worse. I can tell the doctor doesn't know what to do with me. I am in the middle of testing now, EKG blood work, and the like. Sometimes I wonder if it's all in my head.

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