Fainting is a sudden short-term loss of consciousness that occurs due to violations of blood flow, and, consequently, oxygen, to the brain. Lack of oxygen leads to fainting, which lasts from a few seconds to several minutes, after which the person usually wakes up.
Various reasons can cause fainting. The most common are the following:
- stress (severe pain, sudden emotional shock);
- factors that provoke stress (heat, lack of indoor air, prolonged standing without movement, hunger, fatigue, dehydration, alcohol);
- some diseases (diseases of the cardiovascular system, hypoglycemia, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, epilepsy, diabetes, severe anemia, and others).
First aid for fainting
The main task of first aid is to eliminate the main cause of fainting – oxygen starvation. To do this, restore normal blood flow to the brain. All actions should be aimed at achieving this goal.
If you witness a fainting spell, try to catch the person when they lose consciousness to prevent them from falling. After that, you need to lay it on its back on a horizontal surface. Put something under your feet so that they are above the level of the head, this will facilitate the blood supply to the brain.
To provide the patient with sufficient fresh air and restore breathing, you should open the Windows, unbutton his clothes. If a person was in a stuffy room or in a crowd before fainting, they should be taken out and laid in the air. In hot weather – in the shade, in cold conditions – in a warm place. If the loss of consciousness occurred due to hypothermia (for example, in cold water), the person must be covered with a blanket. At signs of beginning vomiting, the victim should be turned on his side so that he does not choke on vomit.
You can apply patting on the cheeks, wiping your face with a wet towel, or sprinkling with water. You should not use such a widely used until recently remedy as ammonia, which was moistened with cotton wool and brought to the patient’s nose. Modern medicine considers this method of withdrawal from fainting unsafe. The sharp smell of ammonia can negatively affect breathing, up to its stop.
After the victim has regained consciousness, he must remain in a horizontal position for up to half an hour. If this is not possible, then in order to avoid repeated fainting, he should take an upright position slowly, gradually, move to a more convenient place, preferably with someone’s help. After a while, a person who has regained consciousness can be given a drink of warm sweet tea.
Artificial respiration, or artificial ventilation
In most cases, after first aid, a person regains consciousness. This happens within a few seconds or one to two minutes. If consciousness does not return, check the victim’s breathing and pulse. To do this, put your ear to the person’s mouth to hear the sound of inhaled and exhaled air, examine the chest and abdomen to detect breathing movements. Hold your ear close to the victim’s chest to see if the heart is working. Or feel for a pulse on his neck under the chin in the area of the carotid artery.
If you are not breathing or have a pulse, call an ambulance immediately. This can be done at your request by someone around you. Prior to her arrival, proceed to the procedure of artificial respiration.
In the case when the pulse is not felt in the absence of breathing, it is necessary to add an indirect heart massage. If you don’t know how to do this, try to find someone around you who is familiar with the procedure.
Most often, mouth-to-mouth breathing is used for artificial lung ventilation»:
Lift the victim’s chin and keep the head tilted back. Put a rolled-up towel or clothing under your shoulder blades.
Examine the oral cavity and remove foreign substances (vomit, mucus, sand, etc.).
Cover the victim’s open mouth with a handkerchief or a clean cloth with a large hole made in the middle. Hold his nose tightly with one hand, with the other-pull his chin so that his mouth is wide open, take a deep breath and, pressing your lips tightly to the lips of the rescued person, strongly, but not sharply, blow air into it.
Unclench your fingers on your nose and let the air come out naturally. The injection should last approximately 1.5 seconds, with a break of 4 seconds.
Then the procedure is repeated. Pay attention to the patient’s chest. When the air is blown in, it should rise as if it were a natural breath.
If it is impossible to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (for example, if the saved person’s mouth does not open due to a spasm), the same actions are performed using the mouth-to-nose method.
Indirect heart massage
Indirect heart massage is performed if the victim does not have a pulse. The main task in this situation is to restore the work of the heart, and, consequently, blood circulation. During this procedure, the victim must lie on a hard surface that is not able to bend. Otherwise, resuscitation efforts will not lead to the desired result.
The sequence of actions should be as follows:
- Remove clothing from the victim’s chest. Place one hand on top of the other in the center of your chest. Your arms should be straight and perpendicular to the victim’s chest.
- Make 30 strong taps with a frequency of approximately 3 taps in 2 seconds. Use the weight of your entire upper body. As a result of each pressure, the victim’s chest should be lowered by 4-5 cm, and then take its original position.
- After every 30 clicks, perform 2 air injections into the mouth of the rescuer, as described above.
Continue the procedure until your breathing and heart function are fully restored, or until medical staff arrive.
How to prevent your own fainting
Often fainting does not occur suddenly, but follows a series of signs indicating its approach, such as:
- severe weakness,
- dark eyes,
- cold sweat,
- lack of air,
- feeling of numbness in the hands and feet.
When these symptoms appear, you should either take a horizontal position as quickly as possible, or sit down and lower your head below your knees. To ensure fresh air flow, you should get out of the crowd, stuffy room, or open a window. In hot weather, it is better to go to a cool room or sit in deep shade. You can drink water, wipe your face, hands, and neck with a wet cloth. Do not neglect the help of others, who can always call an ambulance, bring water or help you walk to the nearest bench.
People who suffer from fainting or pre-fainting conditions should pay attention to their existing chronic diseases and follow the advice of a doctor to prevent sudden loss of consciousness. For those who suffer from vegetative-vascular disorders, it is important to remember that it is possible to prevent the appearance of symptoms leading to fainting if you follow a healthy lifestyle, establish a full diet, organize moderate physical activity in the fresh air, exclude emotional stress and fatigue.
Natela Jameson, General doctor practitioner of the LECHU network of medical centers
First of all, if you faint, do not be afraid, nothing terrible will happen, the body will cope: the person falls and at the same time improves blood flow to the brain. As a result, the victim regains consciousness independently. When everything happens in front of your eyes, you need to react quickly, support the unconscious person and prevent falling as much as possible to avoid injury. You can carry out the following actions: remove or at least unbutton clothing that restricts a person, open a window, put the unconscious person in a horizontal position, you can lift the lower limbs so that they are on a raised platform, while the head should be lowered below the body level. When returning to consciousness, make sure that the patient does not get up abruptly, you should lie down for 20 minutes.