Margie's Story Fainting (Unexplained)


Margie fainted in the dentist's chair. This was the first of many unexplained fainting spells for the young mother of three.

Fainting can be difficult to diagnose and Margie's case was no different. Her doctor ordered some tests, but couldn’t find anything wrong with her.

Five weeks later, Margie fainted again, this time hitting her head. Upset, Margie called her sister Liz, a long time cardiac care nurse. Liz immediately suspected a heart condition and warned Margie not to drive.

Margie's regular doctor referred her to an electrophysiologist (EP), a heart doctor who specializes in heart rhythm problems and the heart's electrical system. The doctor performed an EP study. After the test also proved inconclusive, Margie's EP doctor prescribed a Medtronic Reveal® Insertable Cardiac Monitor to record her heart rhythms and help determine if her fainting was due to a heart-related condition.

Smaller than a pack of gum, the Reveal was inserted just under the skin of Margie's upper chest area, using local anesthesia during a simple procedure.

A month later Margie fainted several times. Her Reveal cardiac monitor showed that Margie's heart rate slowed to a dangerously low 4 to 5 beats per minute with very long pauses between beats. A normal adult heart rate at rest is 60 to 100 beats per minute.

The Reveal helped Margie's heart specialist diagnose her condition as Sick Sinus Syndrome. That day, her doctor implanted a pacemaker to restore Margie's proper heart rhythm.

Today, Margie is back to living a normal life, no longer in fear of fainting. She counts herself lucky.

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This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.