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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Tachycardia and fainting. Is there something we can do?

    A 20 years old friend is fainting and falling to the floor, 3-4 times per month. She has a diagnosis of tachycardia but has been told to wait for an MRI as fainting is not related to the black outs? Concerned this is not correct and she is not being treated as urgent with falls? What can she do? Non private patient?
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    Thanks

    Dr George Touma

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr George Touma is an Australian trained Cardiologist with dual training in medicine and pharmacy. He has undergone sub-specialised training in interventional cardiology, with a … View Profile

    Hello. Thanks for your question. 

    Fainting and blackouts are similar symptoms describing a collapse that can be cardiac (related to the heart) or non cardiac (eg low blood pressure or a neurological problem). 

    There are many different causes of "fainting" or "blackouts".

    Tachycardia may be a sign of an abnormal heart rhythm that could cause a faint or blackout 

    The key to management 

    1. Prevent injury or death during a fall

    2. Determine the possible cause 

    They key points 

    1. See a cardiologist 

    2. A detailed history is very important 

    3. A 24 hour heart rhythm monitor 

    4. A 24 hour BP monitor

    5. Possibly a week long rhythm monitor 

    6. Possibly an implantable heart rhythm recorder 

    7. Possibly a cardiac MRI depending on the above 

    If there is any warning that the turns are coming she should sit down right away or lie down till the symptoms pass. No swimming, baths or going up a height to prevent injury. 

    She should try and maintain adequate hydration 

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