Syncope (Fainting)

Also known as: fainting.

What is syncope?

Syncope is the medical term for fainting which is a brief, temporary loss of consciousness.

What causes syncope? 
Syncope can have both mild and serious causes.Mild causes in children include dehydration (a drop in blood pressure reduces blood flow to the brain), fear, stress, pain, a hot or overcrowded room, heat exhaustion, a coughing spell, a hot shower  and certain medications/drugs. Serious medical conditions that can cause syncope include abnormal heart rhythms, or other problems with the heart (for example problems with the hearts’ valves or muscle ).

What are the symptoms of syncope? 
Prior to the loss of consciousness, a child may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, become pale, feel hot or cold, sweat or feel nauseous, see spots in front of their eyes and notice their heart beating fast.

What are syncope care options? 
Syncope merits a visit to your pediatrician where more serious causes of fainting can be diagnosed and treated where necessary.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 2:06:16 PM

From the Newsdesk

Infant flown from Puerto Rico days after Hurricane Maria for Lifesaving Surgery
Naialee Perez had just given birth to her first child, a baby boy named Liam, when a category five hurricane was making its way towards her hometown in the island of Puerto Rico. Liam was on a ventilator and undergoing treatment for a congenital heart defect in Hospital del Niño in San Juan while those on the island prepared for what would become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in its history.
August Patient of the Month: Luife
While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect. Shortly after birth, Luife was taken by ambulance to the cardiac team at Nicklaus Children’s. The pediatric cardiology team took Luife’s heart apart, piece by delicate piece, and successfully, put it back together. Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” with pride.