considered as a possible cause,” the study’s researchers
wrote in their report.
Cardiologist and electrophysiologist Jose Joglar, M.D.,
agreed. “That is the reason why this study is unique. It puts
the possibility of blood clots as a reason for patients who
have to be hospitalized with fainting, and that is something
that historically had not been considered as a common
cause by physicians,” said Joglar, a professor of internal
medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center who was not
involved in the study.
“Before this study, the prevalent belief was that you
have fainting because there might be a serious heart
rhythm problem, for example. But few had in their minds
the possibility that these patients had blood clots in their
lungs,” he said.
That is, unless those patients had severe and obvious
symptoms. “For you to faint [from blood clots], the belief
was that it had to be so serious and severe that it would
present to the hospital with additional signs that would alert
the emergency [department] physician of the possibility of
blood clots in your lungs,” he said. “But in this study, a large
number of those patients were not that sick.”
Joglar hopes the findings from the study will encourage
more doctors to automatically consider pulmonary embolism
as a possible reason behind patients hospitalized for
fainting. “It will be changing my practice, for sure,” he said,
adding that he will be more likely to order D-dimer blood
tests and other screenings for candidates considered high-
risk. “The good news in all of this is that should a pulmonary
embolism be present, then that’s a treatable condition,”
Joglar said. “If treated, it is not a death sentence.”
When is a blood clot
really a time bomb?
(VTE) can be deadly if the
clot travels from a vein to
That’s why it’s important
to know the symptoms
and get help fast.
Find out more on our
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300,000 to 600,000
Americans either get
deep vein thrombosis,
or both. An estimated
60,000 to 100,000
will die from them.