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First Aid - Heat Exhaustion
First Aid - Heat Exhaustion

First Aid - Low Blood Glucose
First Aid - Low Blood Glucose

First Aid - Shock
First Aid - Shock

  • Fainting (passing out) is when a person loses consciousness for a short amount of time. Usually the person falls to the ground or slumps over
  • Awakens in less than 1 minute.
First Aid:

FIRST AID Advice for Fainting: Lie down with the feet elevated.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call 911 Now (you may need an ambulance) If
  • Still unconscious after 1 minute has passed
  • Difficult to awaken or acting confused
  • Very weak (can't stand)
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lips or face are blue
  • Heart is beating irregularly or very fast (i.e., palpitations)
  • Heart is beating too slowly (i.e., less than 60 beats per minute)
  • Any bleeding (including vomiting blood, blood in stool, or vaginal bleeding)
  • Black bowel movements
  • History of heart problems or congestive heart failure
  • Pregnant or possibly pregnant
  • Any head or face injury
  • Signs of dehydration (e.g., no urine in more than 12 hours, very dry mouth, lightheaded, etc.)
  • Occurred during exercise
  • Age greater than 50
  • Fainting twice in one day
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • New-onset pale skin (pallor)
  • Fainting occurs and afterwards you don't feel perfectly well
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
  • You think you need to be seen
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
  • You have other questions or concerns
  • Fainting is a recurrent problem
Self Care at Home If
  • Simple faint due to stress, pain, prolonged standing, or suddenly standing up and you now feel completely fine, and you don't think you need to be seen

  1. Rest: Lie down with feet elevated for 10 to 20 minutes (Reason: simple fainting is due to temporarily decreased blood flow to the brain).
  2. Sugar: Drink some fruit juice, especially if you have missed a meal or have not eaten in more than 6 hours.
  3. Fluids: In hot weather, drink several glasses of cold water and apply a cold wet washcloth to the forehead.
  4. Prevention: For fainting associated with prolonged standing, eat more salty foods and drink more fluids every day.
  5. Pregnancy test, when in doubt:
    • If there is any possibility of pregnancy, obtain and use a urine pregnancy test from the local drug store.
    • Follow the instructions included in the package.
  6. Call Your Doctor If:
    • You pass out again on the same day
    • You are pregnant
    • You become worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Author and Senior Reviewer: David A. Thompson, M.D.

Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009

Last Revised: 9/21/2007

Content Set: Adult HouseCalls Online

Portions Copyright 2000-2009 Self Care Decisions LLC; Copyright LMS, Inc.

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