Can You Donate Blood If You Have Vasovagal Syncope

Vasovagal syncope after blood donation in active duty military personnel of the Spanish Army

If I am ever short of breath, overly tired, or having chest pains, I have to be able to know my pulse at that every moment. Still, while fainting can be caused by something harmless, such as vasovagal syncope, it could also be a symptom of something potentially harmful, noted Dr. Chinitz. It’s also essential to get medical attention after fainting if you hit your head . People who are on blood-thinning medications should always get medical attention after a fall because they have a much higher risk for internal bleeding.

Your doctor will make a recommendation based on your medical history, age, and overall health. In the most severe cases, your doctor might want to discuss the pros and cons of getting a pacemaker. If frequent fainting is affecting your quality of life, talk to your doctor. By working together, you may be able to find a treatment that helps.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If that happens, you may briefly lose consciousness. When you lie or fall down, blood flow to the brain resumes. Is the most common cause of fainting, or "passing out." It happens when your body reacts strongly to certain triggers, like a stressful event or the sight of blood. Sometimes vasovagal syncope can be a sign of an underlying medical problem. Thankfully, I am more than six months out from my last full syncopal episode, but, I still experience pre-syncope type events and symptoms.

Effect of a liberal versus a restrictive pre-donation blood pressure policy on whole-blood donor adverse reactions. Physiologic strategies to prevent fainting responses during or after whole blood donation. Increasing regular donors through a psychological approach which reduces the onset of vasovagal reactions. When a person does faint, lying down restores blood flow to the brain. You might not feel normal for a little while after you faint.

Lie down when a dizzy spell is coming on, with the head level with the heart to ensure adequate blood flow to the brain and maintain consciousness. The best position is lying down next to a wall with your legs up on the wall to get blood flowing to the brain quickly. Just think of the injuries that can occur if this response occurs on the stairs, for instance. Or, well-intentioned bystanders might call 911 after they see you faint, and the resulting ER visit could rack up thousands in unnecessary medical bills. Your fainting spell can be dangerous to others too—imagine the consequences if you pass out while driving. However, passing out without warning can cause injury — either from falls or depending on what you’re doing at the time.

Faint at the Sight of Blood It Could Be Vasovagal Syncope

If you typically experience these warning signs before fainting, it’s a good idea to lie down to help increase the blood flow to your brain. Vasovagal syncope is not life threatening, but it can be difficult to tell if an episode of fainting is simple and harmless or caused by an underlying problem. After taking initial steps to manage the situation, it’s always best to have a medical evaluation.

  • This is all about speed, reflexes, strength and preserving your safety.
  • Sometime medicine is also given to trigger a fainting response.
  • So, in addition to my three liters of water a day, I need a minimum of half a liter of PowerAde or Gatorade a day.
  • Therefore, you will need to avoid driving, climbing ladders, or doing anything that could be dangerous if you faint again.

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When it happens, this type of fainting almost always happens in a sitting or standing position. Not everyone notices symptoms before fainting, however. On the other hand, trying to "fight off" an episode of vasovagal syncope by forcing yourself to remain standing or sitting up and "willing yourself" not to faint almost never works. Fainting causes you to lose consciousness temporarily.

Some people are particularly prone to vasovagal episodes and may faint even with relatively mild triggering events. If you see somebody faint, lay the person on their back and raise their legs above the level of their heart. Loosen any belts, collars, or other tight clothing/accessories and call for professional medical help. People usually regain consciousness a few seconds after falling or being helped to the ground. This is because your normal blood pressure is restored in the lying-down position.

If you’re prone to syncope , avoid triggers such as excessive heat, stress, dehydration, extreme pain, and prolonged exercise or standing. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls things like our heartbeat and breathing. Dysautonomia makes a person very prone to the vasovagal reflex that causes syncope.

The mechanisms underlying vasovagal reaction related to blood donation are not completely understood either. Does its occurrence depend on the blood donors’ physical characteristics and health variables or psychological factors? Vasovagal syncope itself is generally not dangerous. Of course, fainting can be dangerous if it happens at certain times, like while driving. Most people with rare episodes of vasovagal syncope can drive safely.

Vasovagal syncope occurs when something triggers the vasovagal reflex, which causes blood vessels to dilate suddenly. Dilation of the blood vessels causes a significant amount of the blood in the body to pool in the legs. After an episode of vasovagal syncope, many people will feel nauseous, dizzy, and extremely tired for a few hours. Sometimes these symptoms can last for a day or even longer. This article explains the different phases of a fainting episode due to vasovagal syncope.

"The blood pressure and/or heart rate lower so much that the blood pressure falls dramatically and patients pass out," said Dr. Chinitz. Most of the time, vasovagal syncope happens when you’re standing or sitting. It is common with specific triggers like having your blood drawn. Vasovagal syncope is the most common type of reflex syncope, which happens automatically for reasons you can’t control. It’s also sometimes called neurocardiogenic syncope because it’s caused by factors involving the heart, brain or both. It most often affects children and young adults, but it can happen at any age.