What causes sudden fainting spell, cramps in calves and temporary memory loss?

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Posted on Tue, 14 Jul 2015 in Brain and Spine
Question: Two evenings ago my husband was out for a walk and lost consciousness and fell. The paramedics came and urged him to go to the hospital because had trouble answering simple questions (his age and his address). He refused to go to the hospital and came home, drank water, ate a banana and said he felt better. Since then he says he feels ok although his calves were cramping that night and the next morning and yesterday his quads were aching. He doesn't remember fainting and he doesn't remember thing surrounding the event. I made an appt for him for next week but I'm concerned he may need to be seen sooner. Also, it was about 95 degrees and 35-40% humidity. Please advise.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 55 minutes later
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Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

From what I understand your husband was alone and there were no other people present to describe what happened during the episode, how long it lasted etc?

If that is indeed the case then assessment is a little difficult. Given the high temperatures it might have been a syncope in the setting of dehydration and electrolyte disturbances which could explain the muscle cramps and aches.
On the other hand an epileptic seizure can not be excluded which also might leave some muscle pain. In the absence of any other symptom now I would consider the first possibility more likely.

By now it is difficult to evaluate that, blood tests should come out normal. If you see nothing unusual in him, I think it can wait till the scheduled appointment, where apart from the history and detailed exam, I suggest some routine blood tests and an EKG. If something suspicious comes out during examination further tests might be required.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka 13 minutes later
Thank you. There was a witness who said he saw him look up at the sky and then fall over. He described it as looking like he had a seizure. I'm not sure how long he was out and my 6 year old granddaughter was with him. She said he was moving around on the ground but couldn't talk and his eyes were rolled up. I believe it lasted a few minutes. By the time I got there he was sitting up talking to the paramedics in the confused state I described before. Thank you for your advice. Is there anything I should be watching out for while we wait for his appt? He says he feels ok now other than tired and he has neck and shoulder pain, most likely from the fall.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the feedback!

That description does make the possibility of a seizure more likely so CT imaging and EEG could also be considered.
In the meantime you should look for headache (especially if there's no history of headache in the past), vomiting, weakness or numbness of the limbs on one side, abnormal behavior, balance or coordination issues, double vision, signs which might indicate a brain lesion originating the seizure.

I hope to have been of help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Olsi Taka

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Practicing since :2004

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