Fainting: What to Do If Someone Faints
If someone says they feel faint, tell them to lie down or sit with the head down beneath the knees. Loosen any tight clothing at the neck and the waist.
A person who actually faints should have the feet raised above the level of the head to increase the blood circulation to the brain. Make sure that the breathing passage is clear by turning the head to the side and tilting it back. If the fainting attack lasts for more than a few seconds place the person in the recovery position.
2. Loosen tight clothing at the neck, chest and waist, and ensure that she gets plenty of fresh air. If she is indoors, open the windows; outside, protect her from the sun with an umbrella or other source of shade.
3. She should recover from the attack very quickly, but when she does tell her to lie down or stay seated for a few minutes more until she feels completely better.
4. Check for any injury that may have happened during a fall. If a blow to the head was hard enough to cause a wound, the injured person should see a doctor, because there is always a risk of a fractured skull or concussion.
If you are in any doubt about the person’s condition, get medical advice from your doctor or the local hospital.
DO NOT give someone who has fainted anything to eat or drink until they have returned to full consciousness. Then only give them sips of cold water.
DO NOT give any alcohol, such as brandy. It lowers the rate of the body’s vital activities, and may make the condition worse.
Spotting the warning signs
• A person who is about to faint becomes pale or greenish-white, and may yawn frequently, showing that he is lacking oxygen.
• The skin is cold and clammy.
• Beads of sweat appear on the face, neck and hands.
CAUSES OF FAINTING
• The blood supply to the brain is suddenly reduced, perhaps by an emotional shock which causes the heartbeat to slow down.
• Being in a hot, stuffy atmosphere.
• A drop of blood sugar due to missed meals. This can be a cause of fainting among people who are on diets.
• Standing still for long periods of time, as soldiers sometimes do when on parade. This can be relieved by rocking gently from the heels to the balls of the feet.
• Sometimes there may be a more serious cause such as illness or injury, in which case a doctor should be consulted.