A 23-year-old female asked:
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what is the difference between blacking out and passing out? what are there dangers?

5 doctor answers
Dr. Georgia Latham
34 years experience Family Medicine
No difference: The terms "blacking out" and "passing out" are usually used to mean the same thing, (i.e. a person loses consciousness). An exception to this might be when these terms are used to describe what can happen when a person drinks too much alcohol. It is not uncommon for people to "pass out" when they drink too much. Some people may also "black out", they keep functioning but cannot remember it.
Answered on Nov 4, 2014
Dr. Julie Abbott
44 years experience Preventive Medicine
They are synonyms: These words are used interchangeably to describe symptoms of fainting or syncope. Blacking out--"all of sudden everything went black"--is usually the result of a heart rhythm problem. Passing out can happen more gradually--just crumbling to the floor or collapsing from low blood sugar, a seizure, the sight of blood, etc. Whatever the cause, it needs evaluation.
Answered on Aug 18, 2016
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu answered
56 years experience Allergy and Immunology
Same: If you meant losing consciousness, the implication would be the same. The dangers include hurting yourself or hurting others (as in passing out when driving). It may also signal something more serious. See doctor about this.
Answered on Nov 3, 2014
Dr. Jeffrey Bassman
44 years experience Dentistry
Interchangeable: Black out - stop remembering what happened Pass out - fall asleep/go unconscious The cause of the experience may actually determine the proper designation
Answered on Nov 3, 2014
Dr. John Munshower
29 years experience Family Medicine
Interchangeable: The terms can be interchangeable and either needs to be evaluated and the reason for such would need to be diagnosed as it could lead to serious medical issues. For example cardiac arrythmias, Blood pressure issues, anemias, seizure disorders, metabolic disorders, etc. etc. can all be possible causes.
Answered on Nov 4, 2014

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Related questions:

A 47-year-old member asked:
Dr. Barton Cook
30 years experience Pediatric Cardiology
None: In general, non-medical people use these terms interchangeably.
1
1 thank
A 37-year-old member asked:
Dr. James Chapman
40 years experience Cardiology
Generally not: Fainting and blacking out generally refer to a temporary loss of consciousness. The medical term for this is syncope. There is a condition referred t ... Read More
A 34-year-old member asked:
Dr. Gary Ritholz
29 years experience Anesthesiology
None: As far as i know none.
1
1 comment
A 48-year-old member asked:
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience Pathology
Unclear question: What do you mean by "difference". If your SGPT level is 26, that is normal.

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