Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Incident on Airline

From: bill c


Last Monday, immediately after touching down on a flight from Tampa to Newark, I experienced excruciating pain in my tail bone. (I have had this pain before but never of such magnitude.) The pain was so intense that I was not able to move my lower body. I was merely able to turn my head to my wife in the seat next to me and say "I'm going to faint." Next thing I remember is people reviving me. There was two doctors on board, and they assisted me with oxygen. Instead I requested for my seat back to be reclined. When I was placed into the ambulance, my pulse and BP were very low. In the ER I soon returned to normal. Apparently I was unconscious for approximately one minute, during which time I lost control of my bladder. The doctors with whom I have consulted have concluded that I had a vaso vagal episode, which resulted from exhaustion, then trigered by the severe pain. Waking up at 4 am to get to the airport and not eating a sufficient breakfast also contributed to my passing out. Apparently, and unknowingly until now, I have had two other VV episodes in my life - once 15 years ago while I watched a nurse draw two vials of blood from my arm, the other 30 years ago, when I fainted in a hot stuffy church (again when I was exhausted.) I have been advised that if I feel this occuring, I should immediately lay down, or cough and constrict the muscles in both of my legs.

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