Doctor Figure sitting on question mark

Solve the Medical Riddle: She Has Been Fainting Often Since She turned 68, Although She Never Passed Out Before That, Second Week

Editor’s note: Welcome to our thirdAGE feature that gives you a chance to play medical sleuth as we share the details of what happened when a patient presented with a problem that stumped the physician at first.

Last week, the patient reported her symptoms. The doctor proceeded with the examination using the components of the classic S-O-A-P notes, which are as follows:

S=Symptoms or Chief Complaint

O=Objective Findings

A=Assessment or Analysis

P=Treatment Plan or Recommendations

Assessment:

The doctor asked Maureen to schedule an appointment for a tilt test during which she would be strapped to a table while lying down. The table would be quickly tilted so that she would be in a standing position.

Maureen went for the tilt test. She experienced a drop in blood pressure from 130 systolic to 85 systolic. She also had a drop in her pulse rate from 74 to 56. She felt light headed, but she didn’t faint. The results of the test were sent to her doctor. He continued his quest for a diagnosis . . .

Come back to thirdAGE.com next Thursday to find out what some people have guessed the diagnosis might be.

Marie Savard, M.D., a former Medical Contributor for ABC News and a frequent keynote speaker around the world, is one of the most trusted voices on women’s health, wellness, and patient empowerment. She is the author of four books, including one that made the Wall Street Journal list of the best health books of 2009: “Ask Dr. Marie: What Women Need to Know about Hormones, Libido, and the Medical Problems No One Talks About.” Dr. Marie earned a B.S. in Nursing and an M.D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as Director of the Center for Women’s Health at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, technical advisor to the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, advisor to the American Board of Internal Medicine Subcommittee on Clinical Competency in Women’s Health, health columnist for Woman’s Day magazine, and senior medical consultant to Lifetime Television’s Strong Medicine. Please visit DrSavard.com.

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