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What to do if someone passes out?

15 Dec 2016What to do

The sudden loss of consciousness for some time can be devastating especially to the person who is around. Fainting or syncope is a result of inadequate blood supply to the brain caused by a decline in blood pressure. While most people regain consciousness after a few minutes, others may take more time to return to their normal state of wakefulness. Typically, fainting is usually a result of dehydration or standing up all of a sudden after a prolonged period of sitting or even a hazardous heart condition. This brief overview familiarises a reader on what to do if someone passes out.

Effective Guide For Students on Regaining Consciousness after Fainting

  • The first important step is to carefully help the person down, catch them slowly and let them lay on the ground. A fainting person is not able to protect themselves and can incur serious injuries hence it is important to protect them to prevent an occurrence of a hazardous situation.
  • Place the person on his or her back position. Proceed to check to see if the individual has regained consciousness by tapping or shaking them since most people regain consciousness after 20 seconds to two minutes. If the individual has already regained consciousness, inquire about their pre-existing conditions or symptoms such as a headache, numbness, tingling or difficulty in breathing, chest pains seizures. If a person is still in pain, it is important to call emergency services.

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  • Lose all constrictive clothing on the individual to make them comfortable and help them rest. Allow the person to rest on the ground for 15-20 minutes to ensure blood returns to the brain.
  • You can fan the victim to help them breathe adequate fresh air. If the person is surrounded, ensure people back up to give the victim enough space and air.
  • Once the person is stable and conscious, give them food and water to help revive them. This is a significant step since low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia and dehydration are the main causes of fainting.
  • Ensuring that the victim does not get up quickly is crucial. Ensure they stay lying down for a few minutes to ensure blood flows to the brain. Rising abruptly may precipitate more fainting.
  • If the fainted person has not regained consciousness, check for a pulse. If their pulse is weak, it is important to consult an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). You can also test the pulse from the neck by placing your index fingers as well as the third finger to the side of their windpipe to feel a pulse.
  • If the victim has a pulse, then raise their legs two feet above the ground. Rising feet above the ground facilitate blood flow to the brain.
  • If you fail to find a pulse, you can just go ahead and initiate CPR. Start by kneeling next to the victim, then place one hand’s heel at the centre of the victim’s chest. Place the second hand on top of the first hand ensuring you do not bend your elbows. Compress the person’s chest with your whole upper body weight. Ensure the chest is compressed as you are pushing down by 2 inches. You can make about 100 compressions until EMS arrives.
  • It is important to stay calm and keep reassuring the victim that all will be well. Staying composed the victim is not anxious.

Preventative tips for Students on Avoiding Fainting

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Taking proper precautions by avoiding triggers can help reduce the risk of fainting.

  • Staying hydrated and taking meals regularly- Hydrating is an essential element in preventing fainting. Take lots of fluids and water especially on hot days as well as eating healthy foods can eliminate the feelings of weakness and dizziness.
  • Avoid stressful situations- Sometimes fainting is brought about by stressful situations among other anxiety-producing situation. It is, therefore, crucial to stay calm and avoid stress.
  • Avoid drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol- Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs have high levels of toxins that are known to induce fainting.
  • Avoiding changing position abruptly- Sudden movements can cause fainting. Standing up quickly after long sitting sessions is risky. You should stand up slowly or hold onto something while standing to establish balance.

Avoiding fainting is as easy as keeping hydrated, taking a balanced diet and avoiding stressful situations. However, in the case of fainting you can follow the above strategies to regain consciousness efficiently.


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