Tilt Table Test
If low blood pressure is suspected as a cause of fainting, a tilt table test may be recommended. This procedure involves laying on a table which is then tilted upright (head up). The patient’s blood pressure and heart rate are then monitored for between 20-40 minutes. After 20 minutes, medication may be administered that lowers the blood pressure slightly. In patients who are prone to fainting, these actions frequently reproduce their clinical symptoms and help tailor their treatment program.
In patients with certain arrythmias (most commonly atrial fibrillation), restoring the heart’s normal rhythm may be necessary. This is accomplished by a procedure known as “electrical cardioversion.” Sedation is administered through an IV and the patient is put to sleep for about 5 minutes. During that time, a short “jolt” of electricity is delivered through two patches that are placed on the outside of the chest. In the majority of cases, normal rhythm is restored.