Passing out or fainting is a brief and sudden loss of consciousness resulting from decreased blood flow to the brain. Numerous conditions can cause fainting, including heart problems like irregular heartbeats, anemia, low blood sugar, seizures, and issues with how the nervous system regulates blood pressure. Some people may also pass out due to intense heat and asphyxiation.
Although fainting usually indicates a specific medical condition, it may sometimes occur in an otherwise healthy person. It is a particular concern for the elderly, who may suffer broken bones or other severe injuries from falls when they pass out. In most cases, the first aid that must be given to someone who has passed out is the same regardless of the cause of their fainting. If you ever see someone faint, here are the necessary steps you should take:
1. React and call an ambulance
If someone was standing when they fainted, try to catch them and slowly lower them to the floor. Call your local emergency hotline or ask for a private ambulance service in Singapore as soon as possible. If the person has tight-fitting clothes, loosen them to the best of your ability. Any person who loses consciousness, even for a brief moment, must be evaluated by a medical professional immediately.
2. Check their vitals
Analyse the person and check for their pulse, breathing, and anything that might be lodged in their throat. If you notice something loose in the throat, try to reach into their mouth and remove the object yourself. If it is firmly anchored or tight, do not attempt to grip it but begin performing CPR if you are licensed to do so.
In any case, when a person does not have a pulse or stops breathing, you should carry out an appropriate version of CPR based on the victim’s age, the cause of unconsciousness, and your training. If you have no knowledge or training in performing CPR, do not try to conduct it yourself but ask someone who knows instead.
3. Reposition them
If the person is breathing, you can slowly roll them onto their side. After doing so, position their head so that it is not tilted too far up or down, and ensure that their airway is open.
If you suspect their unconsciousness is a result of a spinal injury, do not attempt to readjust the victim unless they begin to vomit. In this case, you should run the person onto their side in a single swift motion and try your best not to bump their head and back. Ultimately, it would be best if you did not move someone who might have a spinal injury unless absolutely necessary.
4. Monitor their breathing
Until the ambulance or medical personnel arrives, stay with the victim and constantly monitor their breathing. Try to keep them as warm as possible. If they suddenly stop breathing while waiting for the ambulance, begin CPR. CPR usually consists of pushing hard and quickly onto the center of the victim’s chest about twice per second. If you have had training, repeat cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths.
Passing out can happen to any person, anytime. As such, it is vital to know the appropriate steps to take whenever someone faints around you. Knowing what to do in times of emergency is a great help in ensuring that the victim survives and remains in good health. Furthermore, it would help if you always had a general idea about the nearest hospitals, so you would know where to go when minutes matter.
If you feel unwell and think that you are about to pass out soon, you should seek immediate professional help. Fortunately, consulting with a doctor is now made easier with the help of the MyCLNQ app. MyCLNQ is a telemedicine app in Singapore that allows you to communicate with a doctor quickly and gain access to various medical services, such as private ambulance booking and a supervised ART test. Contact us to learn more.