Fainting or passing out, is a sudden loss of consciousness. It is a common occurrence and may have minimal medical importance, but sometimes it results from a serious illness, condition, or disorder. Every case of fainting should be treated as a medical emergency until the cause is known and signs & symptoms have been treated.
When Fainting Means Heart Disease
Fainting occurs when the blood pressure drops and oxygen does not reaches the brain. Many associate the fainting with disturbance of brain but in actual it is problem related to abnormal heart rhythms, which is among the most serious causes of fainting.
The most common heart-related causes for fainting are problems with the abnormal heartbeat, which can result in very slow heartbeat, known as bradycardia, or very fast heartbeat, known as tachycardia, according to Dr. Niti Chadha, Electrophysiologist at Metro Hospital Faridabad. She further adds “a correct diagnosis of infrequent but recurring fainting is very important, and a person should consult a doctor immediately.”
Treatment for a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) depends on whether it occurs in the upper chambers (atria) or lower chambers (ventricles) of your heart. The irregular heart rhythms or underlying disease can sometimes be controlled by medicines.
Pacemaker insertion is the most common treatment for syncope caused by a slow heartbeat (bradycardia). The pacemaker monitors your heart's natural rhythm. It delivers an electrical impulse to stimulate, or pace, your heart's muscle contractions if your heart rate drops below a certain number of beats per minute.
Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are small devices that deliver energy to the heart through thin wires called leads. They are implanted beneath the skin, below the collarbone. In the majority of cases we can place the devices with minimally invasive techniques on an outpatient basis (one day or an overnight stay).
A cardiac electrophysiologist must immediately be consulted for every case of fainting especially with recurrent fainting. Electrophysiologist is cardiologist specially trained for the management of heart rhythm abnormalities.
The good news is that the latest generation pacemakers & ICDs used at Metro Heart Institute with Multispecialty Faridabad needs minimal or no restriction in routine daily lives of patients. Hence patients can carry almost all their daily activities using any electrical appliance without any fear of interaction with their implanted device.