Fainting is a term used to describe a condition where there is a sudden and brief loss of consciousness.
The loss of consciousness is usually brief and can be caused by:
- Standing for long periods
- Emotional events
- 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.
- Lightheaded/ dizziness
- Pale, cold moist skin
- Slow weak pulse
- Collapse with temporary loss of consciousness.
Management of fainting
- If conscious: Assist patient to lie down, raise legs and keep the head and upper body flat.
- Loosen any tight clothing.
- Ensure an adequate supply of fresh air.
- Assess and treat any further injuries.
- If unconscious: DRSABCD
- If patient does not recover quickly seek urgent medical support.
Note: DO NOT sit a casualty on a chair with their head between their knees. This can reduce the amount of blood being supplied to the brain and can restrict breathing, slowing recovery.