OBJECTIVE: We assessed the prevalence and distribution of the different causes of transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) in the emergency department (ED) and chest pain unit (CPU) and estimated the proportion of persons with syncope in the general population who seek medical attention from either their general practitioner or the ED/CPU.
METHODS: A review of the charts of consecutive patients presenting with TLOC at the ED/CPU of our university hospital between 2000 and 2002 was conducted. Patients younger than 12 years or with a known epileptic disorder were excluded. Age and sex of syncopal patients were compared with those in a general practice and general population data sets.
MAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: During the study period, 0.94% of the patients visiting the ED/CPU presented with TLOC (n = 672), of which half had syncope. Only a small but probably selected group of all people with syncope visit the ED/CPU.
- Chi-Square Distribution
- Emergency Service, Hospital
- Family Practice
- Middle Aged
- Retrospective Studies
- Risk Factors