Fainting is usually a result of the sudden drop of blood flow to the brain. Usually this leads to short-term unconsciousness during which a person may abruptly fall to the ground.
When this happens it may be a cause for alarm. It never hurts to take a person who has fainted to the emergency room, because it never hurts to be safe rather than sorry.
However, when you understand fainting and why it occurs it may not even be necessary to take a fainted individual in to receive emergency help. It depends on the situation and of course knowledge of how to care for a person who has fainted would also help.
Causes of Fainting
Some causes of fainting include low blood sugar, abuse of alcohol or drugs, and usage of nasal congestion medicines. Allergies, anxious feelings, and high blood pressure are also reasons why people faint.
Other emotional stress symptoms such as extreme fear or terror could be a reason that fainting occurs. However, fainting sometimes is caused by standing too long or by excessive coughing, bowel movement strains, or urination difficulties.
Sometimes you have to act fast if someone is fainting. One thing you can do in a situation like this is to tap the person briskly, then you can yell. You could also shake the person vigorously to see if the person responds and if not you should call 911 as soon as possible.
On the other hand if the patient responds you should encourage the person to sit down. Then, you should call 911 and/or watch for signs of weakness, shortness of breath, chest pains, back pains, or headaches.
Alert the emergency services of any of these symptoms so that when the EMTs arrive they will be as prepared as possible to help the fainting or fainted person. Even if the problem does not appear serious the person should sit up for 20 minutes without moving just in case. Either way you are advised to call for emergency medical help.
More Treatment Info
Since it can be hard to distinguish a minor cause of fainting from one that is more serious, it is highly advisable to go to the doctor or seek emergency medical attention. Still, you should know that not all cases of fainting are treated the same way.
Here are some examples of different ways that certain fainting instances are treated:
If caused by…
- Abnormal heartbeat – Usually a medicine is prescribed by a doctor to help the heart pump normally again.
- Reduced blood flow – A certain medication prescribed for the purpose of increasing blood flow would usually be given to a patient in this case.
- Dehydration – Usually if a person is about to faint and you notice it, run and help the person sit down upright in a chair. Then, hurry and get the person a glass of water or other liquid as fast as possible.
Usually this works as long as the person has not already fainted. However, if the person still appears to be getting worse you should consider calling 911.