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General Information

Passing out, or fainting, happens when there isn’t enough blood flow to the brain to maintain consciousness. The technical term for this is syncope. Fainting episodes are usually brief and often aren’t serious. However, sometimes syncope can be a sign of a more serious condition. These situations include:

  • Passing out during exercise
  • Syncope with heart palpitations or other heart problems
  • Multiple fainting episodes in a short time period
  • Family history of these situations or sudden death

Call 911 or seek emergency medical care in these cases. The board certified physicians and nurses at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department are dedicated to your health and well-being. Equipped with experience and leading-edge technologies, we work together to diagnose and treat syncope.

Understanding your related symptoms

It’s important to tell your doctor or nurse any information about your syncope episode. This could include activities that led up to fainting, such as exercising, standing for a long time, taking or changing medications, or being in a highly emotional situation.

Also tell us other symptoms that you have with syncope, including:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Tunnel vision
  • Sense of warmth or sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tingling fingertips or lips

Diagnosing and treating the cause of fainting

Your symptoms help your care team figure out what’s causing your syncope episodes and provide the right treatment. The most common cause of syncope is too low blood pressure.

Other syncope causes include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Emotional stress
  • Medications
  • Severe pain
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration, overheating or exhaustion
  • Hyperventilation
  • Standing for long time
  • Sudden change of posture resulting in blood pooling in the legs

More serious causes of syncope include:

We may perform blood tests, exercise stress tests and electrocardiograms (EKGs) to diagnose the cause of syncope. Goshen Hospital Emergency Department features portable imaging equipment and advanced cardiac monitoring systems to help make a diagnosis and treatment plan.

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