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What to Do When Someone Faints

  Source: Article first appeared in OutramNow  

Learn what you can do when someone faints.

What causes fainting spells and what you can do if someone faints

People joke all the time about feeling faint, especially when they hear something unpleasant. But, the reality is that fainting spells are an indication of a medical problem and not to be taken lightly. 

Fainting can happen:

  • if your stomach is empty, that is, if your body is going through a sudden drop in sugar level
  • because of a medication that you’re taking
  • because of a sudden drop in blood pressure as it causes a lack of oxygen to the head.

Sometimes people faint after blood is drawn or after certain simple bodily processes where exertion is required such as urination, defecating, or coughing.

A reflex of the involuntary nervous system causes such actions to slow the heart rate and dilate blood vessels in the legs, thus lowering blood pressure.

If you’re in a place where someone has suddenly fainted, don’t panic or try to run away. Do what you can to help.

Five things to do

  1. Don’t let the person fall, try to offer support.
  2. Let the person lie down with the head below the level of the heart and the legs.
    • Don’t try to prop the person up on a pillow.
    • There is a danger that the person may choke if the tongue blocks the throat.
  3. Place the person’s head to the side.
  4. Loosen any tight clothing and if available, use a moist towel on the face and neck.
    • Keep the person warm.
  5. Don’t give the person anything to drink and don’t try to revive him/her by slapping or shaking.

Ref.: Y07

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