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Syncope is temporary loss of consciousness, described as "fainting" or "passing out." It's usually related to temporary insufficient blood flow to the brain. It most often occurs when the blood pressure is too low (hypotension) and the heart doesn't pump a normal supply of oxygen to the brain.

Syncope can be caused by stress, pain, pooling of blood in the legs due to sudden changes in body position, overheating, dehydration, or exhaustion. It may occur during violent coughing spells due to rapid changes in blood pressure. It may also result from a heart, neurologic, psychiatric, metabolic or lung disorder. It can also occur as a side effect of some medicines.