Failure to Diagnose Fainting Spells

Some fainting spells, also known as syncopal episodes, may be entirely normal and are typically caused by sudden emotional upset and lack of blood flow to the brain. Other fainting spells, however, may be the result of a medical condition and could be very serious.

A person who has a heart condition such as Arrhythmia, an electrical malfunction of the heart, may experience heartbeat abnormalities that could last for varying periods of time. The heartbeat abnormalities may decrease the blood flow to the brain and result in fainting. This is commonly seen in a person with Long Q-T Syndrome (LQTS) which may occur in children and adolescents and is often plagued with fainting spells in association with exercise or emotional excitement.

Prescribed medications may also lead to fainting as the heart can occasionally become more sensitive to the effects of these drugs. This may cause the prescribed drugs to slow and decrease the blood output from the heart, depriving the brain of oxygen, thus resulting in a fainting spell.

Many causes of fainting spells are treatable. It is important if a person were to have fainting spells to get checked out by their physician immediately. Properly diagnosed, a doctor may prevent future occurrences, brain damage, or even death.

To diagnose fainting spells, a doctor will give a physical examination of a patient to look for possible signs that could point in the direction of a potential diagnosis. The doctor may also want to use a heart monitor to look for any possible heart rhythm disturbances, however, the heart rhythm disturbances may not always be present at the time of the test. The doctor may also check for orthostatic hypotension by checking the patient's blood pressure while lying and standing.

If a physician fails to diagnose Long Q-T Syndrome as an “ordinary” fainting spell or epilepsy, then the misdiagnoses could lead to the wrong treatment which may result in cardiac arrest, followed by brain damage and even death. LQTS can be detected by electrocardiogram (EKG) testing is a treatable condition often by simply taking oral medications.

If you or a loved one was improperly diagnosed, let Sweeney Law Firm consult with cardiologists, neurologists, and other physicians to find out if you have a case. We will analyze the medical records, EKG results, and other sources of information to determine what caused the symptoms.  The Sweeney Law Firm can review your case at no charge to determine if you have a case. The Sweeney Law Firm never charges a fee unless a recovery is made for you.