Fainting and Falling Are Serious Business

Winters in New Jersey can be a time where we all slip and fall on a patch of icy sidewalk. That’s a good way to smash an elbow on the ice or bonk the back of your noggin.

Fainting that leads to falls is a whole different thing, and a far more serious one. That’s why we offer the region’s only dedicated multi-specialty center for people suffering from fainting and falls — the Faint and Fall Center at Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates.

A few facts

Most people don’t think about fainting, but it’s not all that unusual, especially in older people. Fainting occurs when the blood pressure gets too low. This is known as hypotension, and the heart isn’t pumping an adequate supply of oxygen to the brain, hence the person faints. Arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythms, are often behind a person’s fainting episode.

Here are some numbers:

  • Fainting accounts for up to 3% of all emergency room visits.
  • Fainting is the sixth leading cause of hospitalization for people over age 65.
  • Fainting is responsible for around 10% of falls in that same age group.

Falls often involve fainting

Everyone simply assumes older people fall because they shuffled their feet and caught on a rug, step, or other impediment. Often those falls are actually due to fainting. Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness, colloquially known as “blacking out” or “passing out.” In many cases, the patient doesn’t have any recollection of fainting prior to the fall, so checking for possible hypotension isn’t pursued.

That’s why a dedicated clinic such as our Faint and Fall Center can be so important for some patients.

Specialization can pinpoint your fainting

Fainting that leads to falls can have many causes. It can be due to cardiac conditions, a neurological cause, a metabolic disorder, or stress. That’s why diagnosing these occurrences accurately can be difficult for your regular physician. This can lead to a parade to a variety of different doctors without success.

That’s not the case with our Faint and Fall Center. We are a one-stop resource for patients who want to pinpoint the cause of a faint and fall. We bring together a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who know what to look for and what to do about it.

If you or a family member has had a falling episode that didn’t seem like a simple stumble, it could have involved fainting. Please call the team at the Hunterdon Faint and Fall Center at (908) 788-1710 and let’s check it out.

Posted in: Faint and Fall Center

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Alert

At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates (HCA) we are taking a proactive approach in safeguarding our patients to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, we urge you to call the Hunterdon Medical Center (HMC) patient hotline at 908 788-6440 or contact your primary care physician as soon as possible. In addition, we ask that, if you believe you have potentially been exposed to someone who is demonstrating symptoms, or has been diagnosed with COVID19, that you contact our office and speak with a staff member who will ask you several questions to determine whether you should be seen in our office, the emergency department or by your primary care physician.

We are scheduling patients currently utilizing the CDC, Cardiology Society and the Department of Health recommendations (sanitizing, social distancing and screening patients before they enter the practice). We are always available for your urgent questions and will continue to have a cardiologist on call 24/7.

In the meantime, we ask that you keep yourself informed by logging on to the CDC (WEBSITE) for the latest information ensuring that you follow their recommendation in reducing the spread of coronavirus (avoiding close contact with others as much as possible).

We all must do our part to flatten the curve and stall the spread of this virus.

As information changes in our communities, the state of NJ and the CDC, we will continue to keep you informed.

Wishing all of our patients good health.