Disability insurance carriers often claim that syncope is situational and therefore not disabling. How Can Disability Insurance Attorneys Dell & Schaefer Assist You?
As disability attorneys, Dell & Schaefer have represented long term disability claimants that have been unable to work as a result of syncope. Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer have an expansive understanding of the significant restrictions and limitations that a person suffering with syncope must live with on a daily basis. We have worked closely with top physicians in order to sufficiently satisfy a disability carrier’s threshold of evidence necessary to prove that a client is disabled by syncope. It is essential to treat with a doctor which can document the restrictions and limitations caused by syncope.
Not everyone suffering from syncope qualifies for long-term disability benefits, therefore the medical records of each client must be reviewed to determine the level of restrictions. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your long-term disability claim. You can contact us for a free initial consultation.
What is Syncope?
Syncope is a medical term used to describe a temporary loss of consciousness that causes the person either to fall down or slump over. This is commonly referred to as “fainting” in layman’s terms. People with reoccurring syncope find it difficult to work as the episodes of syncope are often unpredictable. Syncope can also be a symptom related to other disabling conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric disorders, and neurological disorders.
Simply put, syncope involves a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain. This, in turn, causes a person to “blackout” or temporarily lose consciousness. A person who has experienced an episode of syncope usually regains consciousness a few moments later after the person has been laid down.
Syncope can come about as result of a variety of different triggering events. Such triggers include:
- a high amount of emotional stress
- the sight of blood
- hypotension (low blood pressure)
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain)
- irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
One or a combination of any of these triggers can cause a person to faint or experience syncope.
The most commonly diagnosed form of syncope is neurocardiogenic syncope.
Neurocardiogenic Syncope Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have had problems with frequent fainting in the recent past that affects your ability to perform the material duties of your occupation, consult your treating physician and let him know how often and what causes you to faint. Your treating physician will conduct a series of tests to rule out more serious conditions like heart disease or neurological disorder. Keep in mind that neurocardiogenic syncope often coexists with other disabling conditions.
Your treating physician will check your orthostatic vital signs (pulse and blood pressure) to see if blood pressure drops when standup from a sitting position. If your blood pressure drops you stand up and lightheaded, feeling like you are going to faint, it’s possible for you to have neurocardiogenic syncope.
Another way treating physicians test for neurocardiogenic syncope is via a tilt table test. A medical technician will have you lie down on a table. The technician adjusts the table’s angle and monitors your vital signs as the angle of the table changes.
The purpose of this test is to find out whether your blood pressure drops significantly when your body moves from a supine position to an upright position, thus possibly causing you to faint.
Neurocardiogenic syncope is often treated by educating the patient to avoid situations that would cause a person to faint.
Other forms of treatment include:
- drug therapy with blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, or beta blockers;
- recommending an increased intake of salt and fluids – such as sports drinks;
- implanting a pacemaker
How Neurocardiogenic Syncope Can Affect Your Ability to Work with Reasonable Continuity
Your physician will instruct you to avoid things such as:
- heavy lifting
- operating heavy machinery
- heavy exercise
- situations producing a high amount of stress
This is because suddenly fainting in these situations can possibly put you in a position to be a danger to yourself or to others. Also, as result of having to avoid these situations, you’re neurocardiogenic syncope can preclude you from performing the material duties of your occupation – or any occupation, if that is the opinion of your treating physician.
Your treating physician will have to document the exact nature of your neurocardiogenic syncope and the affects it has on your ability to perform a job with reasonable continuity.