Clinical Case Database / Category: Patient Management

Childhood syncope

Publication details

Dr Gabrielle Parker, Dr Pradip Thakker
Foundation Years Journal, volume 8, issue 6, p.16 (123Doc Education, London, June 2014)


Syncope is a sudden, self-limited loss of consciousness due to transient global cerebral hypoperfusion. Up to 15 percent of children experience a syncopal episode prior to the end of adolescence (1). It is a common reason for presentation to both general practice and emergency departments, and is therefore a condition that is likely to be encountered during foundation years training. The aetiology of syncopal episodes in children is most often benign, but they can occur as the result of more serious (usually cardiac) disease, with the potential for sudden death.

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Dr Gabrielle Parker

Specialty Registrar in Paediatrics, ST6
Nottingham Children’s Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre,
Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 2UH

Dr Pradip Thakker (Corresponding author)

Consultant Paediatrician with Special Interest in Paediatric Cardiology
Nottingham Children’s Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre,
Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 2UH


1.  Causes of syncope in children and adolescents.

2.  Diagnosis of congenital long QT syndrome.

3.  Syncope.

4.  Whitehouse W. Seizures and Funny Turns. In: Polnay L, Hampshire M, Lakhanpaukl M. Manual of Paediatrics, 1st edn. Edinburgh: Elsevier 2007, 248-250.

5.  Whitehouse W. Syncope. In: Polnay L, Hampshire M, Lakhanpaukl M. Manual of Paediatrics, 1st edn. Edinburgh: Elsevier 2007, 257-259.

6.  DoH CHD NSF Chapter 8: Arrhythmias and Sudden Death. March 2005.

7.  Taskforce on Syncope, ESC. Guidelines on management (diagnosis and treatment) of syncope – update 2004. Europace 2004, 6:467-537.

8.  Transient loss of consciousness in adults and young people. NICE clinical guideline 109.


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T​he Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is​ a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.

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