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Syncope is also called fainting or passing out. Syncope is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness, followed by a fall from a standing or sitting position.


Seek care immediately if:

  • You are bleeding because you accidently hit your head after fainting.
  • You suddenly have double vision, difficulty speaking, numbness, and cannot move your arms or legs.
  • You have chest pain and trouble breathing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have another fainting spell.
  • You have a headache, fast heartbeat, or feel too dizzy to stand up.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage and prevent syncope:

  • Follow your healthcare provider's recommendations. He may recommend that you increase your intake of liquids and salt. Liquids help to prevent dehydration. You may also need to increase your salt intake to keep your blood pressure from dropping too low and causing syncope. He may also recommend tilt training. Do not try these unless your healthcare provider says it is okay
  • Sit or lie down right away if you feel faint or dizzy. Put your feet up higher than your head. This will get the blood flowing back to your heart and brain.
  • Move slowly and let yourself get used to one position before you move to another position. This is very important when you change from a lying or sitting position to a standing position. Take some deep breaths before you stand up from a lying position. Sudden movements may cause a fainting spell.
  • Move your legs often if you must sit or stand in one position for a long time. Do not lock your knees or cross your legs.
  • Avoid straining if you are constipated. Straining to have a bowel movement may cause you to faint. Walking is the best way to get your bowels moving. Eat foods high in fiber to make it easier to have a bowel movement. Good examples are high-fiber cereals, beans, vegetables, and whole-grain breads. Prune juice may help make bowel movements softer.
  • Do not exercise outside on a hot day.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.