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There is no such thing as a simple faint - there is always an explanation.
Fainting, or syncope, is temporary loss of consciousness caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain. 50% of the population will faint at least once in their lifetime and most are unaware that fainting could be a warning sign for a serious, potentially life-threatening heart condition.
In many cases, fainting is the only sign of an abnormal heart rhythm which is a leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest – a devastating condition that kills 100,000 people in the UK alone each year.
Did you know...
- 30% of adults and 39% of children diagnosed with epilepsy have an underlying (often fatal) arrhythmia
- 1 in 3 visits to A&E are due to syncope but often the person has regained consciousness before the healthcare professionals see them making it difficult to capture the cause.
- 1 in 6 admissions to hospital are due to syncope
- With the elderly, a broken hip or fractured arm may be blamed on a fall when in fact it is due to syncope, usually unwitnessed because the person may live alone. They often end up in residential care and lose their independence, yet if syncope was diagnosed and treated with a pacemaker they could remain independent and lead active lives.
To educate people about fainting and its link to heart health, STARS launched the Take Fainting to Heart campaign to encourage people to take fainting seriously and urge those who have fainted to talk to a doctor to determine if it signifies a more serious health issue.
Read Trudie's informative interview on why getting to the heart of fainting is important here.