Clots Are Suspected To Be the Cause of Fainting In Elders

First Posted: Oct 21, 2016 04:40 AM EDT

A new study suggests that most of the adults experience fainting when blood tends to clot in their lungs.

According to a report published in Health Day, Italian researchers have found that out of 560 patients who were hospitalized for a first-time fainting episode, one in six had a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal blood clot that occurs in the arteries of the lungs. One of the US physicians believes that these findings are eye-openers to millions of people across the globe.

As per a report published in Web MD, Dr. Lisa Moores, professor of medicine at the Uniform Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, stated, "It is not necessary that everyone who faints needs to be evaluated for pulmonary embolism. It is a much more common cause than we have thought."

The National Institutes of Health has stated that pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot in the legs, which slowly travels upwards to the lungs. The common symptoms of pulmonary embolism are wheezing, chest pain, and difficulty in breathing. It also leads to fainting which is considered to be a major sign of severe blockage among elderly adults. Moores believe that fainting is not the top signal of pulmonary embolism.

A study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine which aimed to figure out how often pulmonary embolism becomes the culprit when people are hospitalized for fainting. In Italy, researchers performed the study in 11 hospitals on 560 patients who were admitted for a first-time fainting experience. The sample consisted of patients who were nearly 76-years-old. The conclusion was only 17 percent were diagnosed with pulmonary embolism. It included 13 percent of patients who suffered from various heart conditions.

Fainting can occur in other conditions such as a drop in blood pressure and variation in the heart beat. Generally, people who faint more often suffer from 'Reflex Syncope'. It refers to a situation when the person suffers from a short-lived loss of consciousness due to standing in the crowded area, seeing the sight of blood etc.

When elderly patients are hospitalized due to fainting experience, doctors should consider pulmonary embolism as a cause, particularly when an alternative explanation is not found.

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