Chapter 52: Syncope

Syncope is a transient, self-limited loss of consciousness due to acute global impairment of cerebral blood flow. It may occur suddenly, without warning, or may be preceded by presyncopal symptoms such as light-headedness or faintness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, dimming vision, ringing in ears, or sweating. The syncopal pt appears pale and has a faint, rapid, or irregular pulse. Breathing may be almost imperceptible; brief myoclonic or clonic movements may occur. Recovery of consciousness is prompt and complete if pt is maintained in a horizontal position and cerebral perfusion is restored.

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