KCAL-TV meteorologist Alissa Carlson appeared Tuesday on “CBS Mornings” to explain why she fainted on air over the weekend.
Carlson, who is also a health coach, revealed she checked into the hospital following her loss of consciousness while trying to give a weather report. She said though she has a history of fainting she had been worried she might be having a heart attack but that medical tests revealed it wasn’t heart-related. Instead, she said, it was related to a previous diagnosis of vasovagal syncope.
CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook also joined to explain Alissa’s condition, symptoms and more.
Gayle King started the segment, which you can watch above, by asking Carlson if she felt at all off leading up to the incident.
“In the morning I felt fine. It wasn’t really up until about 15 minutes prior to the incident that I started to feel a little nausea and at that point, I went to the restroom and thought okay, I’ll be fine,” she said on air. “I’ll get through the hits and I’ll get something to eat because I hadn’t had breakfast that morning. I also had been drinking a lot of coffee and so most likely I was maybe a little dehydrated. So at that point I thought I’m just gonna power through. I’ll be fine as I usually am.”
Carlson also revealed that in the past she has been diagnosed with a leaky heart valve, but she assured the anchors and viewers that she did not suffer a heart attack Saturday.
LaPook described syncope as blocking. Vaso means blood vessel, and vagal refers to the vagus nerve, which can cause symptoms like clammy hands, lightheadedness, nausea, blurry vision, pale skin and more when overstimulated. He advised Alissa in the future to lay flat if she experiences similar symptoms to lessent the chances of a drastic drop in heart rate or blood pressure.
“Very often there’s warning, you may get sweaty palms, you may feel that tunnel vision, that graying out, you’re dizzy and people, especially in this situation, you’re embarrassed, right? I’m going to just I’m going to sit up and look normal,’” LaPook said. “That’s the worst thing you can do. You want to get flat so your heart is at the same level as your head and it’s pumping the blood [horizontally].”