Syncope, defined as a sudden temporary loss of consciousness not caused by head trauma or a seizure, has many causes.1,2 Patients who suffer a syncopal episode should not require chemical or electrical cardioversion to regain consciousness. Syncope accounts for approximately 1% to 6% of hospital admissions and 3% of emergency room visits.3,4 The occurrence of syncope in the 26-year surveillance of the Framingham Study is 3.0% among men and 3.5% among women.5 There is little information regarding the incidence of syncope in the pediatric population. Similarly, the epidemiology of syncope in the general elderly population is not well studied. A yearly incidence of 6% and a recurrence rate of 30% was found in a 2-year prospective study.6 True syncope occurs much less often than symptoms that suggest near-syncope, which are usually described as light-headedness or dizziness.
KeywordsVentricular Tachycardia Sudden Cardiac Death Cardiogenic Shock Advance Directive Carotid Sinus
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 4.Gendelman HE, Linzer M, Gabelman M, Smoller S, Scheuer J. Syncope in a general hospital patient population. NY State I Med 1983;83:1161–5.Google Scholar
- 7.Lewis RP, Schaal SF, Budoulas H, Weissler AM. Diagnosis and management of syncope. In: Schlant RC, Alexander RW, editors. The Heart, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994:907–25.Google Scholar
- 8.Hancock EW. Syncope. Sci Am 1995;1–7.Google Scholar
- 11.Bousser MG, Dubois B, Castaigne P Transient loss of consciousness in ischemic cerebral events: a study of 557 ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. Ann Med Intern 1980;132:300–7.Google Scholar
- 17.Kapoor WN. Workup and management of patients with syncope. Contemp Issues Cardiol 1995;79:1153–70.Google Scholar
- 21.Kapoor W. Evaluation and outcome of patients with syncope. Medicine (Baltimore) 1990;69:160–75.Google Scholar
- 22.Bannister SR, editor. Autonomic failure: a textbook of clinical disorders of the autonomic nervous system. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1988:1–20.Google Scholar
- 24.Brennan JF, Davies A, MacDonald RG, et al. Assessment of the cardiac patient for fitness to drive. Can J Cardiol 1992; 8:406–11.Google Scholar
- 25.Sheldon RS, Rose S, Flanagan P, Koshman ML, Kilan S. Multivariate predictors of syncope recurrence in drug-free patients following a positive tilt table test (abstract). Circulation 1994;90 Suppl I:55.Google Scholar
- 31.Cummins RO, editor. Textbook of advanced cardiac life support. 1994:1–4.Google Scholar
- 32.Ruskin JN, McGovern B, Garan H. Sudden death. In: Stein JH, editor-in-chief. Internal medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1994:143–9.Google Scholar
- 33.Murphy DJ, Murray AM, Robinson BE, Campion EW. Outcomes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the elderly. N Engl J Med 1989;111:199–205.Google Scholar