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Tilt Table Test - Advice

My daughter finally has her tilt table test in a couple of weeks and I just wondered if there was any advice that anyone can give me. Those that have been through it personally or aided their children through it. Thanks in advance Catherine

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I hope the tilt table test yields the answers you seek. I had a positive tilt table test,, which confirmed my NCS. You're probably aware of the process, but I was strapped to the tilt table, and fitted with various electrodes in order to monitor me. The test went on for just over 30 mins (at which point I passed out), although the time does obviously vary from individual to individual. There's not really much advice I can give your daughter - other than try to relax (it isn't the most enjoyable of tests!). Similarly to any episode of syncope - I was completely shattered after the test, so that's certainly something for you to bear in mind in terms of help and support.

Best of luck, and I hope it provides the answers you need.

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Hi. When I had mine it was fine, you lye in a bed with a monitor attached and it moves towards an upright position and back repeatedly. They're monitoring your blood pressure regularly and heart rate and looking for any symptoms. If there are postural changes then she may feel dizzy or faint. It confirmed my diagnosis of POTS. She may feel tired afterwards but the test was not painful. Good luck

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Did I understand right that they moved you upright and back down repeatedly?! That doesn't sound the nicest! In mine they only tilted upright and left standing for up to 45 minutes.

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Does this differ per hospital I wonder? I just admit anything I had read did not seem to suggest the constant tilting in this way. Hopefully hers won't last long she managed to faint in the eeg a couple of weeks ago during the deep breathing for 3 minutes part. X

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I don't know I'd think with something like the NHS it should be standardised otherwise some people may be misdiagnosed etc? I did quite a lot of research before just to know what I was getting in for and hadn't seen this happen before although it was what I first assumed would happen!

Fingers crossed! But you may be surprised as I was fainting multiple times a day even lying sometimes but this didn't trigger it weirdly! It comes and goes when it wants haha but its always nice not to pass out either x

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Hi yes. Not fast, but they did a few different assessments. I can't remember exactly but they did assess response to exercise and temperature. It was probably easier that way as the longer in one position the worse the dizziness.

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I'm glad you are having the test - my daughter had hers a few weeks ago. There isn't anything you can do to prepare but try to be relaxed about it for her, let her know that it will just give you some answers as to why this happens and will help the doctors deal with it.

Like anything with children they feed off your emotions so stay strong. She will be tired afterwards so try to park close as possible to the building.

The results should be pretty obvious to the doctor conducting the test and they will not let you leave if the room until she has had a couple of cups of water and can walk unaided.

I hope the results help you all

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Thanks everyone for your comments. It has confirmed my thoughts that it is bad because it brings on an episode but I can hardly remember many days in the past couple of months when she has not fainted so this is nothing new. Fingers crossed we are finally getting somewhere close to a diagnosis. :)

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Yes, the test is designed to trigger a response, and look for the underlying cause. As you say, it's not nice, but at least your daughter will be monitored throughout, and hopefully it'll yield the data that your doctor needs to get to the bottom of things.

Good luck.

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Hi, my 14 year old son had the test about 6 months ago, and his experience was similar to the previous posts. He also passed out during the test after the spray was administered under his tounge. He was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope. I understand how frightening it is to see your "baby" go through this, and I agree that the child picks up on your emotions, just try your best to be calm. My son found the tilt table test was less stressful than an mri, even though he passed out. Once you get a diagnosis, you can move forward, I have joined a Facebook group called living with vasovagal syncope, and it is a great source of information and support. The very best of luck for the test and the future. X

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Thanks for the information. I will bear in mind the Facebook group depending on the diagnosis she receives. I hope things are starting to improve for your son now you have a diagnosis x

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Thanks, and best wishes to you too. Keep strong (chocolate helps!) X x x

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+ gin! :)

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I think it can vary but its a very easy relaxing test, you lie on the table where they attach an ecg monitor, a normal blood pressure cuff (that goes every 5 minutes) and a continuous blood pressure finger cuff. They will then strap you in over your hips and legs but it is not tight and you are barely aware of it. You lie for 5 minutes once everything is set up then they slowly tilt you to 60 degrees which feels slightly strange as you're obviously not upright but it is supposed to trick your body into thinking it is upright. As they do this they will monitor your readings for any abnormalities or changes and you stay in that position for 45 minutes unless you feel particularly unwell or faint in which case they will lie you straight back down.

The more difficult part for her is probably that you are supposed to stay completely still and silent unless to notify the nurse that you are feeling unwell. I know with adults you are not allowed anyone else in the room for this reason, but I'm sure they would make an exception if the child needed but might be worth being aware they may not!

At the end of the 45 minutes if you haven't had to be put back down sooner they will gently lower you back; this feels very strange as the test tricks your balance by not being completely upright so you feel like you go past horizontal and your feet are up in the air! They will give you a few minutes to recover and then un-attach you from all the gadgets and help you stand up slowly.

They say that the test is supposed to make your body work harder than when upright so you should expect any normal symptoms she may suffer from and it is quite tiring. Personally I didn't find it as bad as standing which I couldn't have done then for the same length of time, it was a relief to lie down as I had been feeling a bit rubbish but nothing like as bad as my normal symptoms. I would advise being careful standing up afterwards as this caused me to pas out which the tilt table didn't - however I think it is unusual to be that way round but worth bearing in mind all the same!

You don't mention your daughters age, but I would just say inform her of everything that will happen and how she may feel but without worrying her and that she is expected to be quiet and still. Other than that you are doing nothing more than lying and then standing supported while being monitored. I hope you find some answers soon and that everything goes ok for you both.

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Thanks for the detailed response. My daughter is 14 this month. As you say hopefully we will start to get some answers :)

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Just to let you know we had the test on Friday. She fainted within about 10 minutes of being tilted but no change to blood pressure and heart rate so not sure what this actually means. Will await syncope clinic in a months time to see what it all means, Thanks again for all the messages X

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My daughter had a positive tilt table test for RAS we were told can last up to 45 mins she managed 4 mins and was very tired after, good luck and hope it provides the answers you need x

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