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<< Syncope In Pediatric Patients: A Practical Approach To Differential Diagnosis And Management In The Emergency Department

Introduction

Syncope is defined as a transient loss of consciousness and postural tone due to an alteration in cerebral perfusion, usually associated with spontaneous recovery. In pediatric patients, syncope is most often a brief episode with complete recovery, without sequelae. These typical episodes, however, must be differentiated from those with rare, life-threatening etiologies. Syncope is most common in teenagers, with the incidence peaking in patients aged between 15 and 19 years. Fifty percent of people report an episode of syncope during adolescence.1 Syncope accounts for 1% to 3% of emergency department (ED) visits, with an overall incidence in the pediatric population of 0.1% to 0.5%.2,3 Syncope must be distinguished from all other causes of loss of consciousness, such as seizures, head trauma, and psychiatric causes.

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