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Fainting, known as syncope in medical terms is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness which often results in falls. However, after an episode of fainting the person will return to complete consciousness. Most of the times, fainting is relatively harmless but sometimes it can occur as a warning sign of a serious underlying problem. Therefore, immediate medical help is required when a person experiences syncope or fainting.
The following symptoms may be experienced before an episode of fainting:
Finally, the patient faints and looses consciousness which is noticed by others around.
Fainting usually occurs due to the deprivation of oxygen to the cells of the brain which results in unconsciousness. This can happen due to several causes such as:
Some people may faint while receiving injection or by seeing someone injured or bleeding.
However, fainting does not occur due to an injury or trauma to the head.
The following factors can increase the risk of a person to faint:
Diagnosis involves understanding the exact cause of fainting to rule of out any serious conditions such as a stroke which can also lead to fainting and fall.
The doctor will collect information such as the symptoms which occurred before fainting, medical and family history of the patient, medications currently in use and the details of previous episodes of fainting, if any.
Physical examination includes listening to the heart beat to rule of any heart related conditions. Additionally, one or more of the following tests may be ordered to know the exact cause of fainting:
Treatment of syncope is based on the cause of the condition. Treatment is not necessary if there is no underlying medical condition for fainting.
Additionally, it is advisable to avoid triggers such as being in hot sun, dehydration, crowded places and long periods of standing.
Taking the below measures may be helpful to prevent injuries when a feeling of fainting is experienced:
If someone around faints, help the patient by doing the following:
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