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A wall=projecting AED sign

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Syncope is a temporary or brief suspension of consciousness due to deficiency of oxygen in the brain (see hypoxia), sudden lowering of one's blood pressure, etc. Synonyms are "fainting" and "swooning".

Additional Info

Syncope or fainting denotes a short-term (transient) effect. A state of prolonged unconciousness from which the victim can not be awakened is called a coma.

When someone passes out, there is always the additional danger of head, neck and/or back injuries if they fall. Exercise caution when assisting someone who has fainted to avoid aggravating these secondary injuries.

SDS Relevance

This is a fancy word for "fainting spell" on Safety Data Sheets. Fainting can occur for many reasons, such as standing up too fast, inhalation of an organic chemical, low blood sugar (from not eating), fatigue, a panic attack or other medical conditions.

Anyone who suffers an unexplained fainting spell should be medically evaluated, particulary if this happens more than once or is associated with palpitations, bradycardia (slow heart beat; or irregular heartbeat) or exercise.

Further Reading

GHS Safety Data Sheets Poster

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See also: bradycardia, coma, tachycardia.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.

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