Neurocardiogenic Syncope/ Vasovagal Syncope (Fainting)
Syncope, or fainting, is a brief loss of
consciousness and not being able to stand
up. Neurocardiogenic syncope is related to
changes within the body’s nervous system,
blood vessels, and heart. This is also
referred to as vasovagal syncope, or the
common faint. This type of fainting is not
caused by any problem with the heart’s
structure or rhythm. While not a severe
problem, we know that this can cause
problems with normal daily life. People
who have fainting can also feel dizzy when
Actions Linked to Fainting
ξ Prolonged standing, more so in a
ξ Changing from lying or sitting to
ξ Painful events
ξ Events that cause fear or anxiety
ξ Hair combing/grooming
Before fainting, a person often will feel
dizzy, nauseous, sweaty, and notice his
vision getting dark. He will often look pale.
The goal of treatment is to prevent repeat
The most crucial part of treatment is to
increase the body’s fluid volume.
1. We suggest that you drink
__________ ounces of water and
liquids without caffeine daily. Sport
drinks that contain added salt
(sodium) can also help the body to
increase fluid volume. Limit juices
and sport drinks to ¼ of your total
fluids per day (____ Ounces).
2. During times of exercise, you will
need to drink more fluid to make up
for the loss of fluid.
3. You will need to limit the amount of
caffeine in your diet as this causes
your body to lose fluid and can
An easy way to know whether you are
drinking enough fluid is to look at the color
of your urine. Your urine should be very
pale in color to almost colorless. Dark,
yellow urine may be a sign that you need to
drink more fluid.
1. Eating regular meals will also help
prevent symptoms and fainting
2. Avoid low salt (sodium) diets.
3. Eat small amounts of pretzels or
other salty snacks in between meals.
Activities to Prevent Fainting Episodes
1. Sit or lie down as soon as you begin
to feel dizzy, notice your vision
dimming or getting dark, or have a
2. Change positions slowly. Do not
jump out of bed or stand up from
sitting too quickly.
3. Regular exercise that uses the
muscles in the legs such as walking,
running, or squatting can improve
The recommendations above often work
very well in treating this type of fainting. If
you keep having fainting spells after you
have followed the above recommendations,
the use of certain medicines can help to
control symptoms. If you have fainting
episodes during exercise, you should be
evaluated by a doctor.
Questions or Concerns
The doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can
answer any questions.
Pediatric Cardiology Clinic (608) 263-6420
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 2/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6597