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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes sudden episodes of transient loss of consciousness?

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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3274 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 26 Jul 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: I was on a conference call and I was speaking, sitting straight up in my chair and in mid sentence I blacked out for a micro second and instantly woke back up so just for an instant. Luckily I was sitting at my head did drop down so I was disoriented. I had been in earthquakes before so I first thought that is what happened but realized no one else in the office was acting like there had been an earthquake. So I said back in my chair and felt a little woozy and in a minute or so I was fine. Funny no one on the conference call noticed I ended my sentence in a weird spot and they just kept talking.
First time it ever happened felt a little nauseous from the disorientation but since then except for my confidence I feel fine.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Several possibilities.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

In the absence of any other symptoms present which could indicate a specific cause, in addressing that episode one has to consider all causes of loss of consciousness.

Most common cause is a blood circulation issue leading to insufficient blood supply to the brain. That could happen due to heart issues such as rhythm abnormalities.

The other possibility is that of a seizure which could also manifest this way.

Metabolic alterations such as low blood glucose, electrolyte abnormalities or anemia would be another possibility.

Anxiety would be another possibility if all the rest is excluded.

So evaluation would start by simple tests such as a blood pressure measurement, an ECG to check heart rhythm and some routine blood tests for anemia and metabolic alterations. If something turns out naturally it should be addressed accordingly.

If everything results normal for the moment I wouldn't push with other more expensive tests. If the episode repeats itself then would follow with a Holter ECG (a prolonged ECG monitoring through a portable device carried during the day) as well as seizure evaluation with EEG and head imaging.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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