KCAL-TV weather forecaster Alyssa Carlson appeared on CBS Mornings on Tuesday to explain why she passed out on air over the weekend.
Carlson, who is also a health coach, said she ended up in the hospital after passing out while trying to give a weather report. She said that although she had fainting spells, she was worried that she might have a heart attack, but medical tests showed that it was not related to the heart. Instead, she said, it was due to a previous diagnosis of vasovagal syncope.
CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. John LaPuce also joined in to explain Alyssa’s condition, symptoms and more.
Gayle King began the excerpt, which you can watch above, by asking Carlson if she felt out of sorts before this incident.
“In the morning I felt good. In fact, about 15 minutes before the incident, I started to feel a little nauseous, at which point I went to the toilet and thought, “OK, I will be fine,” she said on air. “I will deal with the blows and get something to eat because I didn’t have breakfast this morning. I also drank a lot of coffee and was likely a bit dehydrated. So at that moment I thought I would just break through. I’ll be fine as usual.”
Carlson also revealed that she had been diagnosed with a leaky heart valve in the past, but she assured hosts and viewers that she didn’t have a heart attack on Saturday.
LaPuc described the fainting as a blockage. Vaso means blood vessel and vagus refers to the vagus nerve, which can cause symptoms such as clammy hands, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, pale skin, and more when overstimulated. He advised Alyssa to lie flat in the future if she experienced similar symptoms, in order to reduce the likelihood of a sudden drop in heart rate or blood pressure.
“Very often there are warnings, you can get sweaty palms, you can feel tunnel vision, blackouts, dizziness and people, especially in this situation, you are embarrassed, right? I’m going to just sit down and look normal,” LaPuc said. “This is the worst thing you can do. You want to flatten out so your heart is level with your head and pumping blood. [horizontally]”.