If your child faints frequently, he or she may have a form of dysautonomia called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). By breaking down the name of POTS, you may be able to understand the seriousness of it better: postural (position of the body), orthostatic (caused by being upright), tachycardia (rapid heart rate), syndrome (group of symptoms). Here's what you need to know about this medical condition and how you can help your child.
Dysautonomia & POTS
When someone has this condition, their body is unable to control their blood flow when they change positions, such as when they stand up after being in bed. Normally, a change in your body's position will result in an autonomic response of blood vessels contracting and expanding so that blood will reach the head and vital organs in the upper half of the body. But this doesn't happen for people with POTS.
Instead, their blood pressure drops and their blood pools in the lowest part of their body, which can cause them to become dizzy or faint due to not enough blood reaching the brain. In fact, up to 40% of POTS patients will faint at least once. When this type of episode happens, the heart rate rapidly increases to compensate for the low blood pressure and the low blood volume.
If you feel that your child may have POTS, it is crucial that you take your child to the pediatrician for a diagnosis. If your child does have POTS, you should consider getting CPR certification. Any time a child is diagnosed with a medical condition that affects the heart, the parents should consider CPR certification.
Treatment & CPR Training
During CPR training you will learn the signs of a heart attack, which includes symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and light-headedness. Depending on the age of your child, these symptoms may be difficult to determine. You'll also learn how to take your child's pulse. That way, you can monitor his or her heart during a syncope episode.
Treatment typically begins with lifestyle changes. Since it's a sudden movement in the position of the body that brings on an episode, you'll need to teach your child to move slowly when getting up from a supine or seated position. To help your child's blood volume and pressure, speak with a pediatrician or a pediatric cardiologist about adding extra salt to your child's diet. Also, make sure your child drinks plenty of water. To learn more, contact a company like American Heart Association - AED $40 CPR LLC - Certification Training Classes.