If you have ever experienced a fainting spell or witnessed one within a senior friend or family member, you understand how scary it can be and the dangers involved. You might have feelings of panic or helplessness as you wonder about the underlying issues causing these fainting spells. Learn more about the causes of fainting spells in the elderly, the symptoms to look for and the surprising findings new research has discovered about blood clots causing fainting spells in the elderly.
Blood Clots Causing Fainting Spells? Don’t Ignore and Call 911
Fainting spells are a medical emergency and shouldn’t be ignored, whether they are caused by blood clots, as recent research suggests, or not. Call 911 immediately if someone faints. Stay with them until the ambulance arrives, as patients who have lost consciousness often exhibit confusion, chest pains, problems breathing, a blue appearance to the lips for face, or a heartbeat that is slow or irregular.
Causes of Fainting Spells
Fainting spells can be caused by a variety of medical issues, such as low blood sugar, heart problems, blood pressure regulation, anemia, and seizures. They can also be caused by intense anxiety or emotional stress, pain, hunger, dehydration, excessive sweating, or exhaustion.
A common cause of fainting in the elderly is due to a condition called postural hypotension, also known as orthostatic hypotension. Postural hypotension is associated with low blood pressure associated with sudden changes in body position. This can occur when a senior suddenly moves to a standing position after sitting or lying down for a period of time.
Possible Injuries and Symptoms to Watch For
Although fainting spells can be problematic at any age, they are particularly dangerous in the elderly because it can lead to serious complications. If a senior falls after fainting, they can develop a contusion or abrasion. In more serious cases, falling can result in fractures of the pelvis, arm or wrist or a head injury. Falling repeatedly from fainting spells also increases the risk of hospitalization and death.
The dramatic changes in blood pressure that occur in seniors with orthostatic hypotension can increase their risk of stroke and other cardiovascular problems like heart failure, heart rhythm irregularities and chest pain.
Knowing the warning signs that you or a loved one might suffer from a fainting spell is essential to receiving prompt treatment and care. They can also lower the risk of developing serious complications. Some symptoms that may indicate you or a senior family member might suffer from a fainting spell include sweating, lightheadedness, confusion, a sudden warm feeling, pale skin, blurry vision and a feeling of heaviness in the legs.
New Research Shows that Blood Clots are Causing Fainting Spells in Seniors
Recent research has found that blood clots causing fainting spells are a primary concern for the elderly population. According to the study, when a senior experiences fainting episodes, it may be due to a blood clot in the lungs, also referred to as a pulmonary embolism. The cause of a pulmonary embolism is strongly associated with an existing blood clot in the leg (called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) that breaks loose and travels to the lungs. If you or a loved one experiences fainting or the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, including problems breathing, chest pain or coughing, you should seek emergency medical attention.
Blood Clot Prevention and Treatment in Middle Georgia
The best way to prevent serious complications of blood clots, including blood clots causing fainting spells, is to know the signs of a blood clot and how to prevent and treat them. Contact Vein Specialists of the South in Middle Georgia to schedule a consultation and learn more about blood clots, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.