Fainting

29 December 2016
Comments: 0
29 December 2016, Comments: 0

Fainting involves brief loss of consciousness. It is usually triggered by a momentary loss of blood supply to the brain and can be an indication of a serious condition. Any individual of any age can experience fainting but the elderly might have a detrimental underlying reason.

When to seek medical care

Since fainting can be triggered by a serious health condition, all episodes must be taken seriously. Any individual who has an initial episode of fainting should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

If the individual has a history of fainting and a specific diagnosis for the episodes, he/she must inform the doctor if another episode occurs. The doctor can decide if the individual requires further assessment.

Fainting

Any individual who has an initial episode of fainting should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

Self-care measures at home

If possible, assist the individual who fainted steadily to the ground to reduce injury.

  • Try to stimulate the individual vigorously by yelling or tapping briskly. Call for emergency assistance if the individual does not respond.
  • Check if there is a pulse and start CPR if needed.
  • Once the individual recovers, encourage him/her to lie down until the emergency team arrives. Even if you suspect that the cause is harmless, assist the individual to lie down for 15-20 minutes before attempting to stand up again.
  • Ask if there are any persistent symptoms such as back pain, headache, chest pain, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, loss of function or weakness since these might indicate a serious life-threatening cause.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on fainting is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage sudden emergencies including fainting, register for a first aid and CPR course with Ottawa First Aid.

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