The L.A. meteorologist who fainted during a live broadcast last weekend told viewers Tuesday morning that a medical condition known as vasovagal syncope led to her collapse.
KCAL meteorologist Alissa Carlson Schwartz joined “CBS Mornings” to give concerned viewers a positive update on her health after video of her fainting spell went viral. Carlson Schwartz, who went to the hospital and has since been released, told CBS’ Gayle King that she wasn’t feeling well prior to going on air.
“It wasn’t really until 15 minutes prior to the incident that I started to feel a little nausea,” Carlson Schwartz said. She added that she drank a lot of coffee that morning on an empty stomach, “and so most likely I was maybe a little dehydrated.”
“At that point, I thought, I’m just going to power through. I’ll be fine as I usually am,” Carlson Schwartz added. “Well, we all saw what happened.”
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) March 21, 2023
Carlson Schwartz, who mentioned that she was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve in the past, said that initially, she thought she was having a heart attack, but “that was not the case, thankfully.”
Doctors told the meteorologist that she experienced a case of vasovagal syncope, which is when a person’s body overreacts to triggers such as the sight of blood or emotional distress, according to the Mayo Clinic. Signs of vasovagal syncope include sweaty palms, tunnel vision, graying out vision, and dizziness, CBS reported.
“If the vagus nerve is overstimulated or inappropriately stimulated, the pulse rate can go down, the blood pressure goes down, not enough blood goes up to the head and you can faint,” CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said.
Carlson Schwartz, a former Ms. America contestant, said that after her on-air collapse, her heart was tested and the results showed that it is in “great” condition.
“I continue to strive for ultimate health,” Carlson Schwartz said before encouraging viewers to learn from her experience. “Get enough rest, make sure you’re hydrated, and take care of yourself.”