Continuing Medical Education

Fits, faints and funny turns

N A B Ntusi


Fits, faints and funny turns represent a common
reason for presentation – either to the general
practitioner or to the emergency department. In
many cases, the consultation is dissatisfying for the
doctor and the patient, as such patients frequently
present a diagnostic dilemma for the clinician. Frequently, the key
to a satisfactory evaluation is a structured approach, premised on
a clear and comprehensive history focused on prior comorbidities
and the episode – its context, precipitating factors, prior situational
factors, onset and evolution, and events occurring afterwards. A
detailed and carefully elicited medical history allows the clinician
to confirm the diagnosis, delineate the underlying mechanism, and
identify features that may suggest high risk of recurrence, injury
or death.

Author's affiliations

N A B Ntusi, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(8):689. DOI:10.7196/SAMJnew.8098

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-09-23
Date published: 2015-09-23

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