Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your child's syncope service appointment.

Before your appointment

You can expect to receive an appointment within eight to 10 weeks of referral. You should attend all appointments with your child if they are under the age of 16, and you may stay with your child during the tilt test.

We will need to monitor your child’s heartbeat, respiration and blood pressure throughout the tilt test, so please make sure that your child wears a simple two-piece outfit without a high collar or tight sleeves.

Please make sure your child does not eat or drink for four hours before the test, unless clinical conditions dictate otherwise. Any medications should be given as normal. If you have any concerns or questions do not hesitate to contact the nurse before the day of the test.

If your child has ever been incontinent during a previous syncope event, we suggest you bring a change of underwear and clothing as a precaution. Please remember to bring your child’s red book to your appointment and to check your appointment letter for anything specific you have been asked to take with you. In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring the following:

  • Your full address and telephone number(s) 
  • Your appointment card and appointment letter 
  • Your GP’s name and address 
  • A list of questions you may want to ask your consultant

During your appointment

Please allow up to two hours for your child’s appointment. When you are called, the nurse will take a detailed history of your child’s condition, answer any queries you or your child have and will prepare your child for a tilt test.

The tilt table test is the main way in which we can determine if your child is having faints or near faints and the particular cause of those events. It is non-invasive, done in an outpatient setting by our syncope nurse specialist and plays a central role in planning appropriate management and future care for your child’s condition.

During the test your child will be attached to a table that is tilted upwards from horizontal to vertical and symptoms such as light-headedness will be recorded. Your child may show symptoms of syncope and the nurse will make sure they have recovered completely before leaving.

We conduct the tilt table test in a controlled environment within the cardiology department and are able to deal with any symptoms in a safe and controlled manner. At the end of the test you will receive feedback and advice from the syncope nurse.

After your appointment

Once diagnosed, we will provide you and your referring clinician with guidance on strategies for handling your child’s symptoms, which can often be managed through changes to their lifestyle. A full report will be sent to you and your child’s doctor in due course.