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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 26 February
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
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Tuesday 26 February 2008
Fainting

Full programme transcript >>

Fainting

Around half us will experience at least one faint at some stage during our lives.

Most episodes are nothing to worry about, but there are more sinister causes of loss of consciousness that are easily confused with faints.

Children and adults with heart abnormalities may be falsely reassured by a loss of consciousness that's put down to a simple faint - the next time it happens they may not be so lucky.

And it can work the other way too - people prone to faints may be misdiagnosed as having epilepsy (something that's thought to have already happened to tens of thousands of people in the UK).

So what exactly is a faint, and how can doctors differentiate it from  other causes of blackouts? Mark Porter joins cardiologist Adam Fitzpatrick to find out.

Dr Fitzpatrick runs a pioneering blackout triage service at the Manchester Heart Centre at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. It’s basically a one stop shop to ensure that people who have passed out receive the right diagnosis and are sent along the right care pathway – which means going home and nothing more for most people who have fainted.

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