Vasovagal Syncope (Fainting Episode)

A vasovagal or vasodepressor response is a reflex the body goes through when a certain trigger is present.  When the funny bone, or ulnar nerve is struck hard by a pointy object, a vasovagal response can occur.  This can also happen when the peroneal nerve (just below the knee) is struck. The body responds by having a large amount of blood pool into the legs, which in effect pulls blood away from the major organs, like the brain and heart.  The brain goes unconscious for a short time, until the blood gets pumped back into the brain and heart.  If this vasovagal episode happens when the person is sitting, they will slowly slump over (this was the case for both my son and I).  If the person is standing, they will fall down.  This helps the blood get back to the heart.  Syncope is the medical word for faint.

Time Frame:  The time from hitting our elbow to fainting was about 3-5 seconds.  In these seconds, we both felt a faint, "fuzzy thoughts" feeling prior to going unconscious.  It was about another 10-15 seconds before we rapidly regained consciousness.  Immediately afterward, we felt nauseated, exhausted, faint and light-headed.  This feeling eventually left us in about two hours.  We felt completely fine the next day.  The only evidence was a little redness and bump on our elbow.

To get more information on Vasovagal Syncope, check out Mayo Clinic's information at: