While some cases of unexplained fainting are harmless, others may be serious. Heart-related causes, including abnormal heart rhythms, are among the most serious causes of fainting.
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An insertable cardiac monitor observes the heart’s activity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for up to 3 years. Your doctor can use this information to help determine if the cause of your unexplained fainting may be related to an abnormal heart rhythm. Once the doctor has this information, he or she can decide which treatment option is most appropriate for you.
Cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in early 2014, the Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) from Medtronic is approximately one-third the size of an AAA battery making it more than 80 percent smaller than other ACMs currently available. The device is part of a powerful system that allows physicians to continuously and wirelessly monitor a patient’s heart for up to 3 years. In addition to its continuous and wireless monitoring capabilities, the system provides remote monitoring and notifies physicians if patients have significant cardiac events between regular medical appointments.
“The device is so discreet that most patients will not even know it is there and go about their lives without interruption or discomfort from the device” said Dr. Michael Fleissner. “Additionally, the device has the ability to communicate wirelessly with the patient’s physician via the MyCareLink Patient Monitor while the patient is sleeping, allowing them to continue living their lives normally, even when traveling away from home.”
Answer the following questions to see if your symptoms are typical of patients who might benefit from an insertable cardiac monitor:
- Have you had more than one fainting spell and do not know the cause?
- Have you had frequent, unpredictable fainting that has happened over time?
- Have you had diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your fainting spells without any answers?
- Are you receiving treatment for fainting, such as medication or lifestyle changes, but the treatment is not helping?
- Does your family history include undiagnosed fainting or sudden cardiac arrest?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, consider asking your doctor if it would be appropriate to refer you to a cardiologist or electrophysiologist. These specialists may help determine whether your unexplained fainting is related to an abnormal heart rhythm.
If your doctor suspects a heart condition is causing your fainting, one or several diagnostic tests may be used to gather information about your heart before an insertable cardiac monitor is recommended.
Although many patients benefit from the use of an insertable cardiac monitor, results may vary. Your doctor can help decide if it’s right for you.
Call the Anderson Hospital Chest Pain Center at 618-391-6698 for more information.
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