Fainting is when someone briefly becomes unresponsive because there is not enough blood flowing to the brain. People often faint as a reaction to pain, exhaustion, hunger or emotional stress. When someone faints, their pulse will slow down but usually picks up and returns to normal soon afterwards. If someone who's fainted continues to be unresponsive after a few minutes, then this could be more serious.
People who have fainted can experience any of the following signs/symptoms:
- A brief period of unresponsiveness, often causing them to fall to the ground
- Slow pulse
- Pale, cold skin
What to do
Follow the steps below:
Ask them to lie down.
Check for other injuries. They may have hurt themselves falling down, so look for head injuries and any other wounds. Treat as appropriate.
Kneel down next to them and raise their legs, supporting their ankles on your shoulders to help blood flow back to the brain.
Make sure that they have plenty of fresh air. Ask other people to move away and if you're inside then ask someone to open a window.
Reassure the casualty and help them to sit up slowly.
- If they begin to feel faint again, lie them down.
- If they stay unresponsive, open their airway, check their breathing and prepare to treat someone who is unresponsive.