Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vasovagal response

From: Michelle


I too have been told that I suffer from Vasovagal reactions. I am a 36 year old white female Registered Nurse. My first passing out episode was when I was around 10. I had passes out approximately 6 times between 10-24 years of age. I then had no episodes for many years. I am now 36, and approximately 10 mnths ago I passed out after falling when I was out walking with a friend. She states that she thought I was not breathing, and that I had no pulse for about a minute. I remember feeling dizzy and knew I was going to pass out. I just layed down. A few months later, I passes out again. The phone rang in the middle of the night, I got up to answer it, and again felt dizzy, and knew I was passing out. Then in December I had been feeling fine no anxiety (which is what some doctors call it) eating dinner with my husband in a restaurant, and started to feel nauseated. I knew I needed to get some air. I left the table to go outside, but by the time I made it to the door, I knew I was going. I just got down. When I awoke, this time, I felt that my heart was just kind of fluttering and needed a kick. After this 3rd episode I did seek tx/explanation. I was referred to a Cardiologist(strong family hx of heart problems along with SCD) The Cardiologist kind of laughed at me when I told him why I was there. He said that I do have a slight drop in blood pressure from a sitting/laying/standing position, but with my family hx he did do a Stress test, bubble test, and Halter for 24hours. He said that everything was normal, my halter showed a high heart rate with one episode of a ventricular beat(or so the doctor reading it thought), but he felt that this was artifact. He explained that these are Vasovagel reactions due to a drop in pressure. He told me to flex my calfs when I feel these symptoms coming on (yea right, all I want to do is get down when these symptoms appear). He said that he could put me on Toprol but that he did not think it was necessary, and did not want to as I have a somewhat low B/P. He suggested some Ativan 0.5mg prn. I explained that I do not have anxiety, but the more I pass out the more I wonder if I am going to more often. At this time, I have yet to take the Ativan. It is now April 5, and I had to have outpatient surgery on my hand on 3/31/05 for what they think was a dermatofibroma or dermatofibrosarcoma. I went to surgery feeling fine, no problem with IV sticks, etc. However after surgery, and after they sat me up, and got me a Diet Pepsi to drink, I again experienced this and passed out again. I did have a pulse o2 on that time, and my husband states that my heart rate dropped into the upper 50's low 60's, and that is when I went out. I told him I did not feel good and when I woke up they were using an Ambu bag on me. Have you heard of someone who has stopped breathing during these episodes? I had an Anesthesiologists tell me that I need to follow up with a Cardiologist, but when I told him that I have and that they call this a Vasovagel response he said ok and dropped it. Also do most get Diaphorectic and sweat profusely after this.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007