What to Do for Fainting
If you've ever fainted, you are not alone - at least one third of people faint sometime in their lives. Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness. You lose muscle control at the same time, and may fall down. Most people recover quickly and completely.
Fainting usually happens when your blood pressure drops suddenly, causing a decrease in blood flow to your brain. This is more common in older people. Some causes of fainting include
- Heat or dehydation
- Emotional distress
- Standing up too quickly
- Certain medicines
- Drop in blood sugar
- Heart problems
Fainting is usually nothing to worry about, but it can sometimes be a sign of a serious problem. If you faint, it's important to see your health care provider and find out why it happened.
Here are some dos and don'ts to remember if someone faints
Fisrt aid fainint
If you feel faint:
- Lie down or sit down.
- If you sit down, place your head between your knees.
Discuss recurrent fainting spells with your doctor.
If someone else faints:
-Catch the person before he or she falls
1. Position the person on his or her back. Make sure the legs are elevated, if possible above the heart level.
2. Check the person's airway to be sure it's clear. Watch for vomiting.
3. Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If absent, begin CPR. Call 911 or your local emergency number. Continue CPR until help arrives or the person responds and begins to breathe.
4. Help restore blood flow. If the person is breathing, restore blood flow to the brain by raising the person's legs above the level of the head. Loosen belts, collars or other constrictive clothing. The person should revive quickly. If the person doesn't regain consciousness within one minute, dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance.
If the person was injured in a fall associated with a faint, treat any bumps, bruises or cuts appropriately. Control bleeding with direct pressure.
Don't slap or shake anyone who's just fainted.
Don't try to give the person anything to drink, not even water.
Don't allow the person who's fainted to get up until the sense of physical weakness passes, and then
be watchful for a few minutes to be sure he or she doesn't faint again.
If you're prone to fainting spells, ask yourself why. Common faints (not linked to disease) tend to take place in a warm, crowded room, or when your stomach is empty, or when you're in pain, or after an injury. Poor physical condition can leave you more prone to fainting.
If you get dizzy or feel the room is spinning when you stand up or after you have been standing in one position for too long, you are experiencing postural hypotension. To prevent this from happening, try to take your time standing up from a sitting or lying position (count to 60), and don't stand still for long periods of time. Also, check your medications. Blood pressure drugs increase the risk of postural hypotension, and your medication may have to be changed. Or you can wear elastic stockings to increase blood flow from the extremities and help prevent fainting.