LIZ IN HOSPITAL AFTER BLACKOUT

Published on: November 4, 2002

Liz Taylor was rushed to a hospital after she blacked out and fell at her home -- and doctors fear she may be suffering from a serious heart disorder.

The 70-year-old screen legend was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's cardiac care unit on the night of October 27. Doctors determined her blood pressure was erratic and her heart rate slow, and after she was stabilized, more tests were ordered.

"She's been suffering occasional blackouts," a source told The ENQUIRER.

"She's been ignoring them -- I think because she's afraid.

"It's happened a few times over the past month. She suddenly feels dizzy and passes out, mostly when she's getting up from a nap. It's like a fainting spell.

"The problem is this time she blacked out when she was standing in the bedroom and wasn't using her walker. Her kids are constantly after her to use the walker, but she hates it even though she needs it.

"So she blacked out and collapsed like a rag doll. A staff member found her and called for help.

"She was taken to the hospital by ambulance and when admitted the doctors found her heart was beating too slow and her blood pressure was erratic.

"Right now her condition is uncertain. She's not in any pain but the slowing heart rate could mean she'll need a pacemaker if the heart rate can't be stabilized by medication.

"And it could turn out that there's a problem with medication she's currently on. Liz still takes pills to manage her back pain. That medication could be too strong or may be causing a cardiac side effect."

According to medical experts, fainting coupled with a slowed heart rate and blood pressure changes can be symptoms of several potentially dangerous problems including heart arrhythmias, a mild heart attack or even a minor stroke. Treatment can involve various heart medications, the implantation of a pacemaker or more serious heart surgery.

The actress has battled health problems for years, including a benign brain tumor, skin cancer, high blood pressure and substance abuse in addition to almost lifelong back pain.

"The pity is for the last month or two Liz has been feeling better than she has in a long while," the source added.

"I think that's why she ignored the fainting spells. She longs to be able to get on with her life without a medical problem.

"She told a friend, 'It's so depressing. When am I going to get a break?'"