Patient Experience

Patient Experience

The Falls and Syncope Unit (FASU) provides rapid, expert assessment and treatment for patients of all ages who suffer from dizziness, faints, falls and syncope (loss of consciousness). Using state-of-the-art neuro-cardiovascular technologies, our team investigates balance disorders, fluctuations in blood pressure, changes in gait and blackouts, advancing accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatments.

Led by Professor Rose Anne Kenny and Professor Conal Cunningham, the FASU team is recognised for excellence in clinical care. FASU treats more than 5,000 patients annually and receives referrals from hospitals and general practitioners throughout Ireland.

Falls and syncope are common medical problems that have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, health and wellbeing. FASU is committed to understanding the disease processes which lead to falls, faints and blackouts through national and international collaborations.

Syncope and related disorders are responsible for up to 10% of hospital admissions and general practice (GP) attendances. As recognised leaders, the FASU team delivers quality care and also offers training to patients, carers and clinicians, to promote best practices.

  • To be referred to the Falls and Syncope Unit your GP will need to complete a letter of referral and send it to the following address:

    Falls and Syncope Unit
    Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing
    St James’s Hospital
    Dublin 8

  • When you receive your appointment letter, please confirm your appointment by calling (01) 428 4105

    If you are unable to attend, please contact (01) 428 4105 to reschedule your visit

  • If English is not your first language and you require an interpreter, please arrange for the clinic to be contacted before your appointment, to let us know.

  • Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:

    • A complete list of the medications you are currently taking
    • Any relevant information on tests and procedures completed in other hospitals
    • If you are asthmatic, please bring your inhalers to the clinic
    • If you have suffered from blackouts, please fill out the STARS blackout checklist, before attending FASU.

    If you have had a fall or blackout, it is useful to consider what happened before, during and after an episode.  Consider the following questions before you visit the Falls and Syncope Unit (FASU):

    • Was there any identifiable trigger (for example, fright, fasting, alcohol, stress, warm environment, etc.)?
    • Did you get any warning that an event was about to occur (for example, dizziness, blurred vision, hearing disturbance, sweating, a warm feeling, nausea or vomiting)?
    • Did you experience chest pain or discomfort?
    • Did you get palpitations?
    • Did you blackout?  If yes, for how long?
    • Was there any limb jerking, eye-rolling or incontinence during the blackout?
    • Were you confused following the episode?
    • How long did it take you to recover?
    • How often do episodes occur? Daily, weekly, monthly, less frequently?
    • Is there a family history of blackouts, sudden death or migraines?

    Where possible, use a mobile phone to video a blackout.  It is very helpful to have a family member or friend who has witnessed an episode attend your appointment at FASU to provide additional information. If this is not possible, medical staff may wish to contact witnesses by phone, with your permission, to gather additional information.

  • The treatment of patients attending the Falls and Syncope Unit is specifically tailored to the individual’s clinical condition and is reliant on their diagnosis. The following are some of the treatment options frequently used in the unit:

    • Prescription medication
    • Alteration of culprit medication (in other words medications causing symptoms)
    • Pacemaker insertion
    • Modification to diet and fluid intake
    • Lifestyle modification
    • Physiotherapy
    • Cognitive behavioural therapy
Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

How to find us

Ground floor , MISA building

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