Helping your GP make the right diagnosis

February 9 2021 | Dr Phillip Eardley


When you have a faint or pass out it is vital that get the correct diagnosis in order to get the right treatment. What you can tell your doctor and the way you tell them can play a vital role in finding out what happened to you and why. The correct diagnosis is a crucial part of receiving the correct treatment.
This may be possible by visiting your GP but may also require a referral to a specialist Syncope department and have a Tilt Table Test. However the starting point to getting the correct diagnosis and treatment lies with whomever you see being able to get as much information about you and what happened before, during and after your event(s). We call this getting a good HISTORY.

Tips for being prepared when you see a doctor or clinician about your event

• Take time to make a note of as much as you can remember about what you were doing in the minutes and hours before.

• Ask any witnesses to your event what they saw at the time. How did you behave before it happened? What did you look like? How long were you unconscious? How did you feel/behave afterwards? What did they do for you during and after the event?

• Make a note of any similar events you may have had in the past FOR WHAT EVER REASON.

• Ask any family members if you had any childhood events?

• Ask your family if any of them have experienced anything similar

• Find out as much as you can about your family’s medical history

• Ask any witnesses to go with you when you have your appointment or perhaps be available to talk to the clinician on the phone?


When seeking medical help for these events, being well-prepared can significantly contribute to a more accurate diagnosis. Taking the time to record and recall as much information as possible about the events leading up to the fainting or passing out is crucial. Involving witnesses, such as family members or friends, can provide additional valuable insights into the incident. Gathering information about any past similar events and any relevant family medical history can also assist the doctor in making an informed diagnosis.

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