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Suddenly lost consciousness for few minutes. Test showed fine. What could be causing this?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2397 Questions
Was it a simple faint or a TIA? I'm 85, in good health. I wasn't dehydrated. Just sitting at the table in a restaurant, lost consciousness for a few minutes....Paramedics: normal blood pressure, pulse, oxygen read, also minor EKG seemed fine. YYYY@YYYY Thanks
Posted Mon, 13 Aug 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thank you for sending a question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

It is very difficult to determine for sure what exactly caused your episode. It could be what we call syncope. This is a medical term which describes an episode where someone loses consciousness. I number of different things can cause this.

One of the potential causes is some type of change in your regular heart rate. This might only occur for a few seconds but can cause people to pass out. I'm additional possible factor would be narrowing of your carotid arteries. This is something that your doctor can assess via ultrasound.

You are correct that transient ischemic attack or stroke or other possible considerations. These tend to be associated with some type of deficit after the actual event.

In your case I would suggest that you have a full evaluation by your CT scan or MRI scan of your brain.

I am sure this seems like a lot of testing to go through but I think it is important in order to try to understand the true cause so that we can prevent it from happening again.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have additional concerns I would be happy to discuss those with you as well.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suddenly lost consciousness for few minutes. Test showed fine. What could be causing this? 5 hours later
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX I did follow up and have appt.s for MRI, brain scan, and heart monitor. Dr. says my carotids are good. He said same as you, throw away the TIA idea which bring other unique symptoms. I've had all my blood work done just recently. So thank you again. I just wanted to have a couple of ideas before I visited my regular physician. XXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 14 hours later
Hello again,

You are very welcome. It has been a pleasure to discuss your healthcare concerns. Please let us know if we can be of any additional assistance in the future.

All the best and continued good health,

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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