Tuesday, September 02, 2008

We All Have Fainting Stories: Here’s Mine

By Dena Rifkin, MD

Medicine is made up of a host of rare, exotic diseases—things you see once in a lifetime of practice—and a handful of common, routine, even boring illnesses that you see every day. Of course, common and routine are not so comforting when they happen to you. This ran through my mind last week just before I lost consciousness lying on the ground next to a hiking trail in New Hampshire.

Fainting, also known colloquially as “passing out” and more technically as syncope, is by definition a sudden loss of consciousness. It’s one of those common and routine illnesses that make for good storytelling later on—from the fathers who pass out at a child’s birth to the kids whose worlds go black standing in line at the amusement park in the blazing summer sun. I’d guess every family must have at least one good fainting story. Read More

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