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Updated 13 February 2013

Syncope

Syncope is the temporary loss of consciousness due to a sudden decline in blood flow to the brain. Syncope can occur in otherwise healthy people.

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Description

Syncope is the temporary loss of consciousness due to a sudden decline in blood flow to the brain.

Cause

It may be caused by an irregular cardiac rate or rhythm or by changes of blood volume or distribution.

Symptoms

Syncope can occur in otherwise healthy people. The patient feels faint, dizzy, or lightheaded (presyncope), or loses consciousness (syncope).

Prognosis

Syncope is a dramatic event and can even be life-threatening if not treated appropriately. Generally, however, recovery is usually complete within minutes to hours.

Treatment

Non-cardiac syncope is treated acutely by lying down with the legs elevated. Infrequent episodes of non-cardiac syncope usually do not require treatment.
 
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