Important goals in the initial evaluation of patients with transient loss of consciousness include determining whether the episode was syncope and choosing the venue for subsequent care. Patients who have high short-term risk of adverse outcomes need prompt hospitalization for diagnosis and/or treatment, whereas others may be safely referred for outpatient evaluation. This article summarizes the most important available risk assessment studies and points out key differences among the existing recommendations. Current risk stratification methods cannot replace critical assessment by an experienced physician, but they do provide much needed guidance and offer direction for future risk stratification consensus development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr O. Dickinson and Dr V.K. Puppala were supported by the Bakken family fund, Minnesota Medical Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Risk stratification
- Syncope clinic
- Transient loss of consciousness