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What causes loss of consciousness

what causes loss of consciousness


  • To define the appropriate pathways for the initial assessment of patients with transient loss of consciousness (TLoC), and so to derive the correct underlying diagnosis quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively, and tailor the management plan to suit their true diagnosis
  • To provide advice on the information needs of people who have TLoC

Target Population

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Adults and young people (aged 16 and older) who have experienced transient loss of consciousness (TLoC)

Interventions and Practices Considered


  1. Initial assessment
    • Gather and record information about the event (from all accounts)
    • Determine whether the person had transient loss of consciousness (TLoC)
    • Obtain patient history and perform physical examination
    • Conduct diagnostic examinations
      • 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG)
      • If there is suspicion of an underlying problem causing TLoC, or additional to TLoC, carry out relevant

        testing (e.g. blood glucose, electroencephalogram [EEG])

    • If TLoC is secondary to a condition that requires immediate action (i.e. "red flags"), determine appropriate management and urgency of treatment
    • If no further immediate management is required, diagnose uncomplicated faint or situational syncope
    • Refer to a specialist for further assessment if applicable
  2. Specialist cardiovascular assessment and diagnosis
    • Assessment and assignment to type of syncope
    • Diagnostic tests for different types of syncope (i.e. exercise testing, ambulatory ECG, tilt test)
  3. If cause of TLoC remains uncertain
    • Consider psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) or psychogenic pseudosyncope
    • Advise people who have experienced TLoC to try to record any future events
    • Consider other causes if, after further assessment, the cause of TLoC remains uncertain or the person has not responded to treatment

Category: Forex

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