Recognition for Peterborough City Hospital for their work in supporting patients ‘unexplained loss of consciousness’

Peterborough City Hospital and its staff have been praised by a national charity for their work in supporting patients who experience ‘unexplained loss of consciousness.’

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 11:23 am
Peterborough City Hospital

In a new report, showcasing best practice in Syncope (the medical term for fainting or passing out), from Syncope Trust And Reflex anoxic Seizures (STARS), the hospital and doctors Dr Beth Taylor and Dr Brian Gordon have been praised for the innovative and inspiring work they have been doing to to improve the care and quality of life for people experiencing an unexplained loss of consciousness.

Additionally, Peterborough City Hospital has been recognised as a STARS Syncope Centre of Excellence. People with syncope/fainting are often told it is a “simple faint” or are misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and mismanaged when in fact all too often there is an underlying potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder.

In the Syncope Pioneers Report, Taylor et al describe a case in which a heart rate monitoring system, prior to decompressive surgery, was utilised to avoid permanent pacemaker insertion in a patient with a slower than normal heart rate (bradycardia).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They report: “This case study illustrates the novel use of a heart-rate monitoring

alarm device as a low-cost temporary alternative to permanent pacing.” To read the complete case study, visit: https://bit.ly/PeterboroughSyncopePioneers.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of STARS, says: “The diagnosis and management of syncope and syncope-related conditions continue to be challenging — far too many people with syncope wait months, or even years, for an accurate diagnosis and do not receive the care they need. Therefore, we are delighted to showcase the work of Dr Taylor and Dr Gordon for finding innovative ways to ensure people with syncope and syncope-related conditions are diagnosed early and are managed appropriately.”

Dr Taylor says: “Being recognised as STARS Syncope Pioneers and Peterborough City Hospital being recognised as a STARS Syncope Centre of Excellence is great news. We hope that our work, and those of the others published in the report, will inspire healthcare professionals to explore new and innovative approaches to diagnosing and managing syncope-related conditions.”

Syncope, or fainting, is often caused by low blood pressure, dehydration, or underlying heart rhythm issues. A major issue is misdiagnosis, with studies suggesting people with syncope are often misdiagnosed as having epilepsy — this not only means that they are potentially receiving treatments, such as anticonvulsants, that they do not need, but also means that they are not receiving the treatments they do need.

Specifically if the epilepsy masks cardiac syncope, a person could have a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia and, therefore, are not being protected against sudden cardiac death.

For more information about syncope and syncope-related conditions, visit: www.stars-international.org.