Syncope safety instructions

Syncope, also called fainting, is a temporary loss of consciousness due to sudden decline in blood flow to the brain caused by a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. After an episode, a person quickly “comes to” and is generally “back to normal” fairly quickly. For your own safety and the safety of others around you, mind all of these guidelines for six months following a syncopal event:

  • Do not drive.
  • Do not take a bath or shower without someone near or within earshot.
  • Do not swim alone.
  • Do not climb ladders or chairs; avoid heights.
  • Do not use power tools or operate heavy machinery.
  • Do not take care of young children by yourself.

Additional recommendations

  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause blood to pool in the legs which may worsen low blood pressure reactions when standing. Get treatment for alcoholism if necessary.
  • Avoid heat or environments that tend to trigger symptoms.
  • Make postural changes from lying to sitting to standing slowly.
  • Keep good control of blood sugars if you have diabetes.
  • Seek appropriate treatment and follow instructions for any autoimmune disease you have.
  • Take steps to prevent and/or control high blood pressure, including taking any prescribed medications.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, and engage in regular exercise.

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