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teenage daughter with continuous fainting spells
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teenage daughter with continuous fainting spells

Approximately 6 weeks ago my teenage daughter had an incident at school where a classmate pulled her by her hair for about 3 minutes across the classroom floor.  This was a classmates sick idea of having fun.  Almost immediately after this she passed out and came round a few mins later i was told.  Whether or not the timing was accurate i cannot say.  But ever since this incident she has continued to have fainting spells regularly.  Since two weeks ago the fainting became frequent and even five days in a row.  She has even passed out on the street!!!  She was hospitalised for 4 days to run tests.  The doctors did a full blood count, MRI, EEG and cardiac check and everything came back ok.  They have even questioned her psychology which without a doubt shows she does not have any depression or something major that is bothering her to such an extent as to cause her to faint almost everyday.  However, the neurologist at the time of admitting her into hospital had suspected a possibility of her having epilepsy and prescribed Keppra for her, an epileptic drug, 250mg twice a day and despite the fact that the tests show no signs of epilepsy he has suggested she continues to take Keppra and has in fact increased the dosage from 250mg twice a day to 500mg twice a day since a week ago.  The tablets make her feel more dizzy and bother her stomach.  Her symptoms continue and I am somewhat baffled as to why she should continue to take this medication and yet no conclusive diagnosis has been found needless to say she has no signs of epilepsy.  I have even gone for a second opinion and the second neurologist also said for her to continue with the tablets.
My other concern is the fact that there has been no diagnosis yet.  My daughter complains of dizziness, headaches and "pins and needle" like feelings in her legs most times before she passes out.  She has also complained about the sun bothering her from time to time.  She eats well - she is 52kg and approx. 155cm in height.  What else could cause her fainting spells as it seems the doctor is not sure as to there being anything else wrong besides possibly assessing her psychological state.  I disagree with this theory and i am also concerned as to why this all began after the boy pulled her hair.  Up until that day my daughter was a full ball of health and had never fainted before.  I am desperate to get some answers to this problem and also advice as to what other tests can be done.  Please help!!!!
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Hi Ejay38!

In doing a search I came across your post and was a bit relieved to see it.  You see, whats happening with your daughter is basically whats happening with my niece.  She is 10 years old and was at school when a boy came up behind her and started to strangle her.  Since then she has been having blackouts and was admitted to the hospital for a little over a week for observation.  The doctors too told her parents about her possibly being epileptic and was giving her medication for it but that only seemed to cause the blackouts to become more frequent.  We are really worried as she went nine days after being released from the hospital without having another blackout, but since the Christmas week they have started again.  I really would like to know if you've made any further progress on your end as to whats happening with your daughter. I'll pray that some resolution will be found for our families.

Bless you.
Both of the above stories sound like they're psychological in nature...even though your daughter had a psychological evaluation, Ejay38, were they able to thoroughly test for anxiety? As in, was the incident with her classmate ever explored, and has she been bothered or bullied at school since that incident? I'd ask the same question to Jamrockgirl, since being strangled in front of classmates by a classmate is very traumatic for a 10-year-old, as is being dragged across the floor for 3 minutes by a classmate.

The reason I ask is because your child/niece may be associating the fainting directly with what happened to them in their respective traumatic incidences, to the point where if they even think about or relive the incident in their mind (as would likely happen everyday they go to school), this may be triggering a fainting episode. Then, what could happen is these fainting episodes might be cyclic in nature--as in, if your daughter/niece starts to become worried about fainting anytime anywhere, this makes it more likely to happen because they're getting all worked up over it.

I guess I would consider another psychological evaluation, or even have them attend counseling for a certain period of time.

For syncope/fainting to occur, either the reticular activating system in the brain needs to lose its blood supply, or both hemispheres of the brain need to be deprived of blood, oxygen, or glucose.

So it can be due to fall in BP,hypoglycemia, dehydration and inadequate electrolytes in the body, postural hypotension(orthostatic hypotension),, blockage of arteries supplying blood to the brain esp. the carotids,anemia,vasovagal attacks or underlying neurological conditions(like MS and motor neuron disease)

Sometimes, there are partial or complete blockages in the arteries that supply the brain with blood.  These blockages can cause a temporary loss of blood flow (called transient ischemic attack, or TIA for short), or permanent loss of blood flow (called stroke; also called cerebrovascular accident).This can lead to impaired blood flow through these arteries and so dizziness and syncope.

In my opinion getting MRA  done probably will help.Pls talk to your doctor,s neurologist about this.

Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing and if you have any additional queries.

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