New Screening Tool Evaluates Fainting Risks
It’s estimated that up to 3% of emergency room visits result from an episode of fainting—also called syncope—and about 35-40% of all people will faint at least once in their lifetime. Most fainting cases are not the result of a serious medical condition, but some could signal a life-threatening medical condition. Now, a simple screening tool could help doctors evaluate patients quickly and accurately to determine who is at greatest risk after fainting.
The answers to 9 questions can help assess risk for experiencing a serious adverse event—such as an irregular heartbeat, blood clot, or heart attack—within 30 days of fainting. Patients at high risk could then undergo a thorough evaluation, perhaps helping doctors to detect and treat a life-threatening problem earlier.
Questions include: What is the evaluating physician’s diagnosis as to the cause for fainting? What were the circumstances surrounding the fainting episode? Does the patient have a history of heart disease? Developers of the questionnaire, hope that the screening tool improves, “the detection of serious conditions related to fainting.”
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