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Syncope - Definition


Definition


Syncope is the sudden loss of consciousness related to cardiac function, caused by a reduction in oxygen supply to the brain, called cerebral anoxia. It manifests as paling, dizziness, weakness, and sudden fainting, sometimes accompanied by a short interruption in breathing. Syncope can occur in cases of hypotension, severe bradycardia (drop in heart rate), or excessive tachycardia, a cardiac rhythm disorder, an anomaly of the blood vessels supplying the brain, a compression on the carotid artery in the neck, such as during strangulation, for example, and so on. The patient generally only briefly loses consciousness, and when there are the same symptoms but no total loss of consciousness it is called lipothymia, or simply faintness.
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