n South African Medical Journal - Fits, faints and funny turns : CME - guest editorial

Volume 105, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



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.

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