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Fainting  
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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

Definition
  • 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
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR SIMPLE FAINT

  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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