Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD. Patient Handout

About Your Diagnosis

Stokes-Adams attacks are a type of syncope (fainting) of cardiac origin resulting from a sudden reduction in blood flow from the heart to the brain.
Syncope may result when a patient’s pulse suddenly becomes exceptionally slow or fast because the brain does not receive adequate blood flow. Stokes-Adams attacks occur most frequently in patients with complete atrioventricular heart block and a pulse of 40 or less per minute.

Living With Your Diagnosis
Cardiac faints of the Stokes-Adam variety may recur several times a day, at any time of the day or night regardless of the position of the body. They may last for a few seconds or in some instances longer, in which case the patient may require resuscitation.

Treatment must be undertaken by a qualified cardiologist. Medication and/or a cardiac pacemaker may be required to prevent the sudden heart rate changes that prevent adequate flow of blood to the brain.

The DOs
• Keep a record of the cardiac faints to share with your doctor.
• Take your medications as prescribed.
• Eat a well-balanced diet.

The DON’Ts
• Don’t engage in any type of work or activity that may put you or someone else at risk of injury
• Don’t drive until you get your doctor’s approval.
• Don’t ignore these cardiac faints. Seek assistance from your doctor immediately.

When to Call Your Doctor
• If you continue to have Stokes-Adams attacks.
• If you awaken from an attack feeling confused, especially weak or ill.
• If you have any difficulty related to your medication.