Cardiovascular Emergencies

  • David C. MacDonald


Syncope, defined as a sudden temporary loss of consciousness not caused by head trauma or a seizure, has many causes.1,2 Patients who suffer a syncopal episode should not require chemical or electrical cardioversion to regain consciousness. Syncope accounts for approximately 1% to 6% of hospital admissions and 3% of emergency room visits.3,4 The occurrence of syncope in the 26-year surveillance of the Framingham Study is 3.0% among men and 3.5% among women.5 There is little information regarding the incidence of syncope in the pediatric population. Similarly, the epidemiology of syncope in the general elderly population is not well studied. A yearly incidence of 6% and a recurrence rate of 30% was found in a 2-year prospective study.6 True syncope occurs much less often than symptoms that suggest near-syncope, which are usually described as light-headedness or dizziness.


Ventricular Tachycardia Sudden Cardiac Death Cardiogenic Shock Advance Directive Carotid Sinus 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • David C. MacDonald

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