Sudden Medical Emergencies “Part 1 – Fainting”
For this segment lets focus on the sudden loss of consciousness known as “Fainting” Passing out, Blacking Out, medically known as Syncope“. Fainting is a brief period of unconsciousness that happens when there isn’t enough blood flowing to the brain. This can cause a rapped decline in thought process, feeling dizzy or light headed which rapidly leads to a complete loss of consciousness.
To help someone who is about to faint or who has already fainted we should first look at some of the potential causes.
- – Pregnancy
- – Standing / Sitting / Laying in one position for too long without moving.
- – Pain
- – Traumatic information, sights or experiences
- – Heat
- – Dehydration
- – Lack of Food or malnutrition
- – Watch for the warning signs of fainting, such as dizziness or nausea, and intense need to sit or lay down.
- – Keep hydrated and nourished
- – Wear loose clothing around the neck
- – When standing up from sitting or laying down do so slowly
How to help with Fainting:
1) Check the area, once the area is safe, Check the person and ensure the persons ABC’s are present “Airway / Breathing / Circulation” REMEMBER – Wear gloves if available to avoid bodily fluids.
2) Call 911 and get an AED if you are alone, you suspect a Head / Neck or Spine injury, there is a motor vehicle collision, dangerous environment or the injured persons life could be at risk.
3) Care for the Fainting casualty by:
Always follow recommendations by your Emergency Response professionals and 911 Dispatch personnel. “Never endanger yourself or the victim, you may “not” need to move or roll the injured person”
- – If there are other life threatening injuries, treat those first as quickly as possible with as little movement to the injured person.
a) “If you expect the ambulance to arrive shortly, or If the ambulance can be delayed” -Place the person in the recovery position so that blood can start flowing to the brain again and the airway stays open.
b) If the person is pregnant, has a history of heart disease, or has another serious illness, seek medical attention.
1) Kneel Beside the victim and place the victims furthest arm from you above their head.
2) Place the arm closest to you across the victims chest as a protector arm.
3) The Key is in their Knee, bend the nearest leg up at the knee.
4) Carefully slip your hand under the hollow of the victims neck to support the Head Neck & Spine, at the same time use your forearm by slipping it carefully under the shoulder for leverage.
5) Place your free hand on the Key Knee and gently roll the victim away from you by applying steady pressure against the knee and shoulder at the same time. The victims head should rest on their raised arm.
6) To secure the position pull the key knee further up and bring their protector arm out to use the elbow to stabilize the position.
7) Check the Airway to make sure their still breathing.
We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.
“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!