Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Managing the military patient with syncope
  1. Iain T Parsons1,2,
  2. A T Cox2,3,
  3. I A Mollan4 and
  4. C J Boos5,6
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2Defence Medical Services, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Lichfield, UK
  3. 3Department of Cardiology, St George's Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK
  4. 4RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, RAF Henlow, UK
  5. 5Centre for Postgraduate Medical Education, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
  6. 6Department of Cardiology, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole, Dorset, UK
  1. Correspondence to Lt Col C J Boos, Department of Cardiology, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2JB, UK; Christopherboos{at} and christopher.boos{at}


Syncope is a relatively common occurrence in military populations. It is defined as a transient loss of consciousness due to global cerebral hypoperfusion, characterised by a rapid onset, short duration and a spontaneous and complete recovery. While the symptom of syncope is easily elicited, discovering the mechanism can be more problematic and may require a plethora of diagnostic tests. The aim of this paper is to review current evidence pertaining to the classification, investigation and management of syncope, from a military perspective. Emphasis is placed on assisting primary healthcare professionals in the assessment and management of syncope, in the UK and on operations, while providing explicit guidance on risk. The occupational limitations required in safely managing patients with syncope are stressed along with the potential long-term limitations.


Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.