NEWARK — Nicholas G. Tullo, MD, cardiac electrophysiologist at the Barnabas Health Heart Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, has been named spokesperson for the STARS-US Take Fainting to Heart campaign. Syncope Trust and Reflex Anoxic Seizures (STARS) is an international organization that supports individuals with syncope, reflex anoxic seizures and other non-epileptic seizures; advances the education of medical professionals; and promotes research on the treatment and management of these conditions.
“A recent study showed that one in three people experienced a fainting episode at some point in their lives, but few understand the serious health risks that can be associated with fainting,” said Dr. Tullo who was recently named one of New Jersey’s Top Docs by NJ Monthly magazine. Syncope, the medical term for fainting, is a brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden lack of blood flow to the brain. “It is a temporary condition that may be associated with a drop in blood pressure, a reduction in heart rate or changes in blood volume. Syncope is often the result of an underlying medical condition that could be related to a person’s heart, nervous system or blood flow to the brain,” he explained.
Unfortunately, the link between fainting and heart health is often overlooked. An electrophysiologist is a cardiologist with additional expertise in the heart’s electrical system that maintains the body’s natural heart rhythm. An arrhythmia, a disruption in the heart’s rhythm, can cause serious symptoms, including syncope.
The Take Fainting to Heart campaign provides information and innovative educational resources to help the public understand the seriousness of fainting and the importance of visiting a doctor to determine if it is caused by an underlying, serious health problem.
“There are several diagnostic tests that can help uncover the cause of the fainting condition and to determine how best to treat it,” said Dr. Tullo. “Patients can be treated successfully with simple lifestyle changes and/or medications. If a more serious heart-related issue is to blame, an implantable device such as a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator many be necessary and could be life-saving.”
As the national spokesperson, Dr. Tullo has been interviewed on the subject of syncope for national magazines, radio and television/internet news. Regarded as an expert in the field, he serves on STARS’ international Medical Advisory Committee and on the STARS-U.S. Board of Trustees. In addition, Dr. Tullo is a Medical Advisor for the Dysautonomia Information Network.
For more information about the STARS-US Take Fainting to Heart campaign, log on to www.stars-us.com.
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