Syncope and the Risk of Subsequent Motor Vehicle Crash
This study aimed to examine MVC risk among patients visiting the emergency department (ED) after first-episode syncope. The study cohort included 43589 patients (9223 patients with syncope and 34366 controls). At baseline, crude MVC incidence rates among both the syncope and control groups were higher than among the general population (12.2, 13.2, and 8.2 crashes per 100 driver-years, respectively). In the year following index ED visit, 846 first crashes occurred in the syncope group and 3457 first crashes occurred in the control group, indicating no significant difference in subsequent MVC risk (9.2% vs 10.1%). Subsequent crash risk among patients with syncope was not significantly increased in the first 30 days after index ED visit or among subgroups at higher risk of adverse events after syncope. The findings of this population-based retrospective cohort study suggest that patients visiting the ED with first-episode syncope exhibit a subsequent crash risk no different than the average ED patient. More stringent driving restrictions after syncope may not be warranted.