Scope of the problem Dizziness, a common complaint in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED), is a disorder of spatial orientation. It is the most common complaint in patients over the age of 75 years. Approximately 7% of ED patients present with dizziness. Dizzy patients account for 1.5% of hospital admissions. Evaluating the dizzy patient can be challenging, since it is a nonspecific symptom and is difficult to objectively measure. Although most cases are usually benign, emergency physicians need to be wary about life-threatening causes of dizziness, such as cardiac dysrhythmias and cerebrovascular events. In some cases, however, the patient can be cured at the bedside.
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