Fainting is a term used to describe a condition of a sudden and brief loss of consciousness, with the potential for a full recovery.
The loss of consciousness is usually brief and can be caused from such reasons as:
- Standing for long periods
- Emotional events
- Drop in blood pressure
- Standing up quickly
- Some medications such as Angina medications
- Sight of blood or needles etc
After the patient collapses the blood flow returns to the brain quickly and the patient usually recovers rapidly.
- Light headed/dizziness
- Pale, cold moist skin
- Slow weak pulse
- Collapse; temporary loss of consciousness
Management of fainting
- Assist patient to lie down with legs raised
- Loosen any tight clothing
- Ensure an adequate supply of fresh air
- Assess and treat any further injuries
- Place any unconscious patients into the recovery position and follow the basic life support flow chart
- If patient does not recover quickly seek urgent medical attention
Note: DO NOT sit a casualty on a chair with their head between their legs. This can reduce the amount of blood being supplied to the brain and also can restrict breathing, slowing recovery.