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Thursday, December 14, 2006

We Learned a New Term Today

Can you say "vasovagal syncope reaction"? Well, now I can.

T1, T2, and I went to a research facility to have skin tests to see if we could participate in a clinical trial of Epinastine for cedar allergy. So... we go in, and the nurse swabs down our arms, and starts doing the test. First T1, then T2, then me. We're sitting there a minute or two and T2 says, " I'm kind of dizzy." Less than a minute later, "I'm really dizzy."

Then he slumps over onto me. I try to sit him up, and he gets stiff as a board, and then went limp. The nurse was with us the whole time, and she was a HUGE help. About the time we check T2's breathing and he starts coming around, T1 announces, "I'm getting dizzy now." Then he goes rigid and passes out, too.

Once they came around, they had headaches, but showed no signs of severe allergic reaction to the test. They suggested that we go to our regular doctor and have them checked out, just in case.

One quick call gets them in right away. Dr. O. checked both of them over, and announced that it was just a vasomotor (or vasovagal) reaction.
A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness. Typically an attack occurs while standing and is frequently preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness and visual "grayout." If the syncope is prolonged, it can trigger a seizure. You may suffer from a vasovagal attack due to anxiety, fear, pain, intense emotional stress, hunger or use of alcohol or drugs. Most people who suffer from simple fainting have no underlying heart or neurological (nerve or brain) problem.
It's the same thing that happens when people pass out when having blood drawn or what happens when you stand too long with your knees locked. Embarrassing, potentially painful if no one catches you, but not dangerous.

Needless to say, T1 and T2 didn't qualify for the study. I did.

I think I'm going to take a nap now.

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