USMLE Step3 Question of the Week #493

#493. A 77-year-old male is brought into the Emergency Department after the staff at his nursing home witnessed a syncopal event. Once a week a barber comes to the nursing home to provide haircuts and shaving services. After the barber raised the head of the patient’s bed and started to shave his neck, the patient suddenly lost consciousness. The barber called for help, and the patient was regaining consciousness by the time staff arrived. Within a few minutes the patient was at his baseline mental status and did not lose control of his bladder or bowels or bite his tongue during the episode. The barber didn’t notice any abnormal movements by the patient but reports he was trying a new “natural” shaving foam this morning. The patient has a history of Parkinson’s disease and hypertension. He does not smoke or drink alcohol. Blood pressure is 124/84 mm Hg and heart rate is 92 beats/minute sitting and 128/82 mm Hg and 88 beats/minute after standing two minutes. What would be the next best step in management?

A. Immediate referral for permanent pacemaker

B. Carbamazepine

C. Referral to an Electrophysiologist

D. Carotid endarterectomy

E. Reassurance, education and clinical follow-up

cardio@jamesv

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