Teenagers and Fainting Attacks

Posted at 4:48 pm on 01/21/2015 by Powlin V. Manuel MD, MBA, MS.
As a pediatrician in practice for about 40 years, I have seen many teenagers brought in to the office for because of a fainting episode. This causes a panic in school, in office, and in churches while watching the services. We know from our experience this is not usually a condition to worry about.  It is often due to reduced flow of blood to brain because of loss of nerve control that regulates blood flow to brain and the children do fine once they lie down for a little while and restore the blood flow to brain. However, there are situations in which case there could be a heart defect which goes undetected resulting in occasional serious harm. Tretter, J.J. & Kavey, R.W. (2013) in their research found the following which help us differentiate a serious condition from the usual sycope that occurs in children: is safer if the fainting is not related to exercise, if there is no family history of heart disease, if the physical examination by a doctor is normal, and if the EKG is normal. The common variety harmless fainting spell is usually occurs after prolonged standing, and are associated with symptoms of light-headedness before syncope actually occurs. Once the child faints the immediate action is to make the teenager sit down, lie down if possible, and raise the legs – this will facilitate restoring blood flow to brain.

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