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7706/25/2019 11:09
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House of Lords collapse 'no big deal'
House of Lords collapse 'no big deal'

A Conservative peer who fainted at the despatch box in the House of Lords has said it was "no big deal".

Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford fainted on 17 June while commenting on the listeria outbreak in NHS hospitals.

The 39-year-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition called Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), said she was frustrated her body gave up.

She thanked those who came to her aid, and said it had given her a chance to "shine a light" on her condition.

EDS causes heart problems, chronic migraines and severe joint and muscle pain.

'Frustrated and embarrassed'

As a result of her EDS diagnosis, the health minister was also diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), which affects blood pressure and heart rate.

On Twitter she said she had been "fighting off the flu" and infections can "play havoc with your blood pressure", causing her to "faint unexpectedly".

Skip Twitter post by @nicolablackwood Report End of Twitter post by @nicolablackwood

She said: "On one hand like anyone I was frustrated and embarrassed my body gave up on me at work.

"But I am grateful it gives me a chance to shine a light on a condition many others are also living with."

When she fainted on 17 June, several peers including former consultant obstetrician Lord Patel came to her aid.

Baroness Blackwood was an MP for Oxford West and Abingdon between 2010 and 2017, but lost her seat to Liberal Democrat Layla Moran.

In January she was given a peerage and a ministerial role in the Department of Health, where she had worked before losing her seat.

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