How do I obtain a diagnosis?

Diagnosing the underlying causes of syncope can be a challenge.

Accurate medical history - The Fainting Checklist

The process of diagnosing the causes of your faint and other symptoms should always start with a thorough medical history.

The Fainting Checklist has been designed to help you and your healthcare provider reach the correct diagnosis for unexplained loss of consciousness. The Fainting Checklist gives you information and advice on the major reasons for losing consciousness, helps you prepare for a doctor’s appointment, and provides information on what to expect if you have to attend a hospital appointment. 

Following your appointment with your primary care physician, who will have initially taken your full family medical history, you may be referred for some tests with a specialist to discover the cause of your fainting. Make sure you receive the right test based on the nature of your symptoms.

 

There are different diagnostic tests which may be performed by your doctor depending on your symptoms and age.

 

12-Lead EKG

Every patient experiencing a fainting episode should be given a 12-lead EKG. If there is uncertainty about diagnosis the EKG should be reviewed by a heart rhythm specialist (electrophysiologist).

 

Heart Monitor

A Heart Rhythm is used to record heart rhythms while away from the hospital or to activate during an episode. A 24-hour/7 day heart rate monitor is very unlikely to identify any problems if you experience fainting episodes once a week or less, so do not hesitate to ask about other options.

 

Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) 

A Insertable Cardiac Monitor is used to monitor heart rhythms for months at a time and can remain in place for up to 3 years. An ICM is a thin device that is implanted just beneath the skin in the chest area. The ICM is pre-programmed to continuously monitor your heart’s activity.  Read more>>

 

Tilt Table Testing

Tilt Table Test procedure can be used to induce a syncopal/fainting episode while connected to heart and blood pressure monitors.