Students presenting with syncope and/or seizure occur occasionally in the school setting. Several studies have shown that seizures as well as respiratory distress are the most common medical emergencies that prompt school nurses and staff to contact emergency medical services (EMS) to transport students to the closest emergency department (Knight 1999, Olympia 2005). It is important to develop a differential diagnosis for syncope, to initiate stabilization of the student with life-threatening symptoms, and to triage these students to an appropriate level of care (back to the classroom, home with their guardian with follow-up at their primary health care provider's office, or directly to the closest emergency department via EMS). This article describes the initial assessment and management of two students presenting after syncopal events.
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