Syncope pp 163-170 | Cite as

TLOC/Collapse: The Role of the Emergency Department Observation Unit

  • Ivo Casagranda


This chapter focuses on the importance of the Observation Unit (OU) in management of patients with syncope/collapse. The designation “OU” applies to a dedicated area, generally located near the Emergency Department (EDOU), devoted to the evaluation of patients, including those with transient loss of consciousness (T-LOC) in whom a diagnosis has not been made during the Emergency Department (ED) process but in whom the clinical findings do not suggest an immediate life-threating condition, such as chest pain, severe headache, abdominal pain. In some hospital organizations, the OU can admit patients with diseases that need only a short acute treatment (e.g., acute asthma). In some countries the OU are also termed Short Intensive Observation Unit, meaning that during the observation time an intense and in-depth clinical observation could be done. The OUs dedicated to the management of patients with syncope/collapse are called Syncope Observation Units (SOU). SOU can admit patients with unexplained syncope/collapse at intermediate risk and many of those at high risk and, combined with the in-hospital Syncope Unit (SU), plays a strategic role in the modern efficient management of syncope/collapse patients. The SOU should have a defined syncope management protocol and a well-established organization and essential equipment for an intensive management of unexplained syncope.


Syncope Observation unit Syncope observation unit Risk stratification 



Emergency department


Observation unit


Syncope observation unit


Syncope unit


Emergency department observation unit


Conflict of Interest

No one.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivo Casagranda
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Emergency Medicine, School of Internal MedicineUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Emergency DepartmentGeneral HospitalAlessandriaItaly

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