Driving and working with syncope

Franca Barbic, Giovanni Casazza, Antonio Roberto Zamunér, Giorgio Costantino, Mauro Orlandi, Franca Dipaola, Chiara Capitanio, Sara Achenza, Robert Sheldon, Raffaello Furlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Syncope is usually addressed in the Emergency Department (ED) by the doctor in charge of the clinical picture, i.e. the patient's risk is stratified, a diagnostic work-up is done and a prognosis is set. Patients are ultimately admitted to hospital or discharged. However, other aspects related to syncope may deeply affect their daily lives. These include how and when to return to work and to driving, the feelings about a recent loss of consciousness, and the potential relapse of syncope. This is particularly significant if the work setting is intrinsically hazardous. These patients need adequate clinical and psychological support.For patients with syncope, two main parameters should be considered regarding returning to work and to driving. The first is to evaluate the risk of syncope recurrence and the second is to consider the expected harm if syncope does indeed occur during these activities. In the present paper we detail the problem of driving (including professional driving) and work after syncope.We propose a new quantitative model that will guide the physician in stratifying the risk for patients who have had a previous syncope event. The new model considers the syncope recurrence risk, the job task duration, and features that facilitate a syncope during work. On the basis of these variables, the global risk index for a worker is calculated. Following appropriate validation, this method might help ED and occupational physicians in their decision-making process with the goal of safely readmitting syncope patients to the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Driving
  • Occupational safety
  • Syncope
  • Working

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Medicine(all)


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