Fainting: First aid

Fainting occurs when you lose consciousness briefly as a result of your brain not getting enough oxygen. Most fainting will pass quickly and won’t be serious, but in some cases, it may be linked to a serious health disorder involving the heart. If you faint more than once, you should contact your GP or healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Here is everything you need to know about fainting from the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include:

  • A pale face 
  • Light-headedness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea
  • Collapse
  • Unconsciousness, for a few seconds 
  • Perspiration 
  • Heightened anxiety and restlessness
  • Full recovery after a few minutes.

Causes 

Fainting can be triggered by a number of factors including:

  • Prolonged standing 
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure 
  • Low blood sugar due to diabetes
  • Ddehydration
  • Extreme heat 
  • Emotional distress
  • Severe pain 
  • Sight of blood
  • Sigh of a hypodermic needle 
  • Other distressing events.

What to do if someone faints?

Firstly, you need to encourage blood flow to their head by raising their feet above the level of their heart or have them sit with their head between their knees. Loosen any tight clothing, belts or collars and have the person stay lying down for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Try to cool the person down with a drink of water ifs possible.

When should Ito call 000?

Immediately call 000 if someone who has fainted:

  • Isn’t breathing 
  • Doesn’t regain consciousness within a few minutes
  • Has diabetes
  • Is pregnant 
  • Has sustained other injuries or bleeding 
  • Has chest pain or pressure 
  • Has convulsions 
  • Is unable to move their limbs 
  • Remains confused or disorientated.

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