Syncope: finding the cause of the drop 1

Published on February 11, 2015 Reviewed on January 10, 2021   57 min

A selection of talks on Neurology

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I'm Brian Olshansky. I am Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, United States. I'm also a practicing electrophysiologist and cardiologist at Mercy Hospital in Mason City, Iowa and at Covenant Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa. Today, I'm going to talk about a topic of general interest, a topic that is pertinent to internists, cardiologists, neurologists, and emergency room physicians, as well as general physicians who care for patients that have episodes of transient loss of consciousness. This is a general overview of the topic of syncope. And in subsequent talks, I will focus on specific aspects of the management.
Syncope is a very common problem, and it's very challenging. The science of managing patients with syncope is difficult, due to the complexity of the presentations and the diversity of the types of patients that have the problem of transient loss of consciousness. Therefore, despite guidelines and various approaches to managing patients with this problem, there has never been a cogent, organized scheme that applies to all patients and can reduce the complexity of the management. Years ago, I presented a topic similar to this to my fellows. And before I started, one of my fellows said to me, unless you can tell me what to do about the next patient that comes into the emergency department with syncope, how to manage that patient, the talk won't have any value. So I thought what I would do is to start with a clinical presentation.