Urgent message: When a patient presents to urgent care after a syncopal event, the clinician’s charge is to determine whether the episode was of benign or potentially life-threatening etiology and whether the patient should be transferred for further evaluation.
Kenneth V. Iserson, MD, MBA, FACEP, FAAEM, Professor of Emergency Medicine, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Syncope is a sudden, transient loss of consciousness with a loss of postural tone (typically, falling). It results from an abrupt, transient, and diffuse cerebral malfunction and is quickly followed by spontaneous recovery. The term syncope excludes seizures, coma, shock, or other states of altered consciousness. Many patients will ascribe their syncopal episode to a situationally mediated vasovagal episode.