Posted by: Author | February 15, 2013

Friday Facts- February 15, 2013- Vasovagal Syncope

Earlier this week at my office we were discussing people who pass out at the sight of blood or the idea of having their blood drawn or being poked with a needle. My paralegal said she knew the name of that condition and told us it’s called vasovagal syncope.

Here’s the Mayo Clinic definition (I’m pastinng it from their website here with my thanks)

By Mayo Clinic staff
Vasovagal syncope (vay-zo-VAY-gul SING-cuh-pee) is the most common cause of fainting. Vasovagal syncope occurs when your body overreacts to triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. The trigger results in vasovagal syncope β€” a brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to your brain. Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment.

I have this condition in spades. It’s one of the reasons I went to law school instead of medical school. When I was in my 20s, my mother in law was telling me about her cataract surgery as I stood in the kitchen. Bam. I passed out and hit the floor. When I was pregnant and they had to draw blood, the lab people always went ahead and laid me down to take the blood. They knew I was going down. LOL!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a heroine in a story have this condition? Think of the fun that would be for the writer! I’m just glad I know now what I have. I can wow the medical personnel next time I’m supine from their hijinks.


  1. It’s good to have a name and validation for a condition.

  2. Thankfully I don’t pass out, just get queasy at the sight of blood and needles. For the needle part I don’t look. Ever! Love Friday Facts Jillian.

    • Thanks Lavada. I’m glad you like the facts! I never look either but I still pass out. CRAZY!

  3. OMGosh. I love the idea of giving a heroine that issue. I get queasy at a lot of stuff, but have only passed out once.

    • Lol. Somehow I knew you and I would agree about how fun this would be to use in a story. Lucky you only do the queasy thing and not the thunk thing like me.

  4. I like the idea of a hero or heroine fainting at the sight of blood or a needle. My sister had been known to faint taking the cat to the vet, but I think she’s over it;(she went through a lot taking care of relatives).Once, she saw the needle coming and she passed out before the dentist could knock her out for oral surgery!
    My husband went down on his knees and backed out momentarily when he cut his finger, (not very badly),a couple of years ago. I’d have no problem with that, really, except that he sat through my last c-section and asked the drs all kinds of questions.My dr, the partner and the anesthesiologist each came in to see me and said almost exactly the same words:”You should have seen Joe!”. He was the calmest father they ever had.Hmmmmmm.I have never been sure how I should take that.

    • Lol. I love that about your husband. That’s so funny that he couldn’t handle his own blood but could observe your c-section. And your sis and the oral surgery story could totally be me. Lol.

      Yep, I think we need to write a character with this. Lots of potential for drama there.

      • Glad you were amused. My life is a series of things that I better find humor in!
        Go for it;I think it has GREAT potential.

      • I agree about humor in life. I don’t know how people who don’t laugh get through the day.

  5. I have a better idea. Don’t get sick, then you won’t get stuck, and you won’t go down.

    • Haha. Good plan, Liv. Sadly, I also go down for others. Like when my son ran in with his arm dangling when he whacked it skateboarding. Lol.

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