By Dr. Sunil Garg
Fainting is the sudden loss of consciousness. It must be treated as a medical emergency. Brief unconsciousness or fainting is often caused by dehydration, low blood sugar, or stress, fear and emotional upsets. However, it can also be caused by serious heart or nervous system problems.
We are aware of the long-term consequences of high blood pressure, but very low blood pressure is much more dangerous. It can all happen very quickly, and although it’s not fainting per se, we can’t really tell unless the victim wakes up. Taking a wait and see attitude may be dangerous. Warning Signs & Symptoms That You are About to Faint
Dizziness or feeling light headedness, Confusion, headache, drowsiness, Nausea, Sudden trouble in hearing, Blurred vision- You may see spots in front of eyes, sweating , flushed or pale color, weakness, trembling or shaking, rapid heart beat (Palpitations) or shortness of breath, Incontinence (inability to hold urine or stool) is common. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to evade fainting, but if you feel the signs and symptoms of the same, there are a few things that may help-
-If you feel like you are about to faint, lie down or sit with your head bent forward between your knees. Sometimes lying down prevents fainting, but if it doesn’t, at least the victim won’t fall. -Avoid dehydration; drink plenty of fluids particularly in warm weather. -Avoid situations where your blood sugar level gets too low. What to do when someone faints?
- If you see a person fainting, try to prevent a fall.
- Make the person lie down on his or her back. Elevate the legs above the heart level.
- Loosen or remove any tight clothing.
- Ensure the individual gets plenty of fresh air.
- Check breathing and pulse. If the person is breathing and lying on the back. Carefully roll the person toward you onto the side. Bend the top leg so both hip and knee are at right angles. Gently tilt the head back to keep the airway open.
- If the person vomits, roll the entire body at one time to the side. Support the neck and back to keep the head and body in the same position while you roll.
- There is usually a full recovery when laid flat. If this does not occur, seek immediate medical help.
-Slap an unconscious person’s face or splash water on the face to try to revive him. -Use Ammonia inhalants and stimulants indiscriminately. – Give an unconscious person anything by mouth ( water etc.) – Leave the person Alone – Place a pillow under the head of an unconscious person. Call Immediately for Emergency Medical Assistance if a Fainted Person:
– Does not return to consciousness quickly ( within a minute) – Has fallen down or been injured, and is bleeding – is a known diabetic. -Has seizures – Has lost bowel or bladder control – is not breathing – is pregnant – is over age 50 Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if person regains consciousness but:
-Feels chest pain, pressure, or discomfort, or has a pounding or irregular heartbeat. – Can’t speak, has vision problems, or can’t move the arms and legs. About The Author –
Dr. Sunil Garg is a Critical care (ICU) specialist, based in Udaipur. By this article his aim is to create awareness among people how to go about and deal with commonly encountered emergency medical situations till one gets medical help.
image by Shadow-Ninja-Zero