Syncope is a medical term used to describe sudden brief loss of consciousness. There are various reasons why people can have syncope, but the two common reasons are due to brain and heart disorder. A proper description of the event with timings by eyewitness or family members can give a clue to differentiate between heart and brain disorders. The common heart problem that can cause syncope is either due to electrical problem in the heart or due to reduced pumping of the blood by heart. Either a very slow heart rate or a very fast heart rate can cause syncope. Sometimes patient describes typical symptom of dizziness/giddiness prior to syncope. In patients who have symptoms of chest pain and sweating prior to collapse, this is a classical sign of heart attack and they have to be rushed to a hospital with appropriate facilities to treat the heart attack and revive them. Occasionally, patient or family members will describe a typical drop-attack in which patient was normal until the collapse without any preceding symptoms.
In some instances people who have syncope will start to have jerky movements of arms and legs after the event. This is commonly mis-diagnosed as having fits and started on medications for fits, but actually the patient may have a heart problem.