IG Matthews, J Lawson, SW Parry, J Davison
Journal Issue: 
Volume 44: Issue 1: 2014



Background: Transient loss of consciousness (TLoC) is a common presentation to the emergency department (ED). We sought to evaluate current practice in the management of patients with TLoC presenting to a large, city centre ED, against national standards.
Methods: The ED admissions database was searched to identify all patients attending with TLoC during October 2012. The clinical record of the attendance was reviewed to determine if the initial assessment met national standards.
Results: Ninety-one patients had a primary presentation with TLoC, representing 0.95% of ED attendances. Documentation of before/during/after the clinical event and clinical examination were done well. Notable aspects done less well included lying and standing blood pressure and recording of driving status. No patient was discharged from the ED with a copy of their 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG). Sixty-five patients (71%) were discharged from the ED, with follow-up arranged for 11 (16%). Additional follow-up would have been appropriate in a further 15 cases (28%).
Conclusion: Several aspects of the initial assessment of TLoC were done well. Areas for improvement include driving status documentation and advice, recording of postural blood pressures and ECG provision on discharge.

KEYWORDS Transient loss of consciousness, syncope, epilepsy

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS No conflicts of interest declared.