Syncope is a medical condition related to the sudden and transient loss of consciousness, due to decreased blood pressure and heart rate, causing decreased oxygen levels (hypoperfusion) to the brain.
This happens when the body reacts to triggering factors such as extreme emotion, it is characterized by its rapid onset, short duration and spontaneous recovery. It affects a high percentage of the population at some point in life.
What are the reasons that syncope happens?
Some triggers can be:
Standing for long periods of time.
Being exposed to very high temperatures.
Seeing or being in contact with blood.
Fear of physical harm.
Make a great physical effort.
Although it can have a benign evolution, it can also be the cause of serious injuries or be related to fatal cardiac events.
What types of syncope are there?
There are different types, but there are some that have characteristics of being one, but really aren’t. For this reason, it is important to emphasize that syncope must be differentiated from other conditions associated with real or apparent and transient loss of consciousness.
The subdivision of syncope is based on its pathophysiology:
Reflex or neurally intervened syncope: refers to a reflex that when activated induces vasodilatation (dilation of blood vessels), and bradycardia (slow heart rate); however, the contribution of low blood pressure and inadequate blood supply to the brain can differ considerably.
What symptoms can be given before suffering a syncope?
In general, during episodes of syncope, the person experiences dizziness, blurred vision, the presence of spots in the vision, muscle weakness, together with the transient loss of the state of consciousness.
What not to do during a syncope?
In most cases, it is recommended that when you perceive a symptom, look for a place to sit or get into bed, this way the risk of trauma from falls that can generate complications in the state of health is reduced.
If you are in the presence of such a situation, go to bed with the person on a flat surface, elevate the legs so that due to gravity there is a greater blood flow to the brain, and in this way it allows the tissue oxygenation.
When is it important to consult a doctor?
It is important to emphasize that in all cases where these episodes of syncope occur, they must receive an assessment by a doctor, bearing in mind that it is necessary to investigate the cause of the episode in the clinical history, in order to provide adequate treatment .
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis is obtained by taking an adequate clinical history of the patient together with taking blood pressure, with the aim of identifying whether he has blood pressure figures with a tendency to hypotension. In addition, a tilting table test is carried out which consists of taking the blood pressure through continuous monitoring, where the change in blood pressure can be evidenced when the patient is in bed or standing.
How to prevent it?
The most important thing to treat or prevent syncope is education on this topic, knowing some cares that prevent the development of the episode. The vast majority of people who have suffered from it can improve by following these recommendations:
- Do not self-medicate.
Avoid sudden changes in position (from sitting to standing up quickly).
Avoid standing for long periods of time.
Avoid crowds in closed spaces.
Avoid spaces with high temperatures (hot showers, Turkish baths).
Avoid prolonged exposure in the sun.
Avoid prolonged fasting.
Avoid high salt consumption.
Drink enough water and stay hydrated.
Use compression stockings when you have to stand for a long time.
Raise the head of the bed about 10° to 15° so that the head is always higher than the rest of the body.
Do aerobic exercise on a regular basis.
Any techniques to avoid syncope?
This article had the advice of John Lombana Cortés, head nurse of the Department of Education and Teaching at the Shaio Clinic
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