What to do When Someone Faints: 3 Important Questions Answered

When an individual faints, support their head.

Witnessing someone faint can be nerve-wracking. What’s going on with them? Should you call for an ambulance right away? Fainting in both kids and adults can indicate more serious conditions, like a heart condition or high blood pressure. So if you’re wondering what to do if someone faints, your safest bet is to go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

In the meantime, here are some facts that may help you manage until the paramedics arrive or until you get to the ER.

What You Should Know if A Person Faints

What Do I Do if Someone Faints?

If someone faints, check their breathing to ensure it’s normal. If you notice anything unusual, this should prompt you to call 911 right away. Here are a few easy steps you can follow to help ensure a speedy recovery: lie them on their back, make sure they are breathing, and support their head. IF they are not breathing and you or someone around knows CPR, you can start that process and continue to until a medic arrives at the scene. 

Immediate medical attention is highly recommended no matter what, and especially if the person fainted while playing sports or engaging in other strenuous activities. Even if the person comes to after a few seconds or minutes, you should still follow up with a doctor so they can guide you through next steps. 

The cause of fainting can be many different things so it’s best to have answers. This will help you prevent it in the future as well.

If someone faints, it isn’t always a sign that there is something else going on. However, it is still important to double check for any underlying conditions. Epilepsy, cardiac arrest, or hyperglycemia, could all cause someone to faint. Any sort of unexplained symptom should always be checked out by a professional so you and your loved ones have the answers you need. 

Why Does Fainting Happen?

Syncope,” the formal medical term for fainting, is a result of low blood flow to the brain. This low blood flow can be caused by panic, fear, anxiety, heart complications or circulation issues. It can also be the result of standing up too quickly or not drinking enough fluids.

For certain groups, fainting may be common. For example,  it’s not unusual for pregnant women to faint because their cardiovascular system is dealing with dramatic changes. Their heart rate increases and pumps more blood per minute, and the amount of blood in their body increases by 30 to 50 percent. 

Before someone faints, their surrounding will become blurry.

Although it may be worrying to see your child faint, know that fainting is actually pretty common in older children. An estimated 20 percent of teens have fainted at least once in their life. The medical community suspects that fainting is more common in older children because of hormonal changes or a lack of fluids.

If  your child is a repeat fainter, either from anxiousness or because of a health condition, you should inform anyone in charge of their care: their teachers, school nurse, sports coaches, and any other people in your child’s life. This way they are prepared to react. Even if the reason for fainting may not be cause for concern, you want to prevent injuries that can happen when a person faints whenever possible.

What Does Fainting Feel Like?

People who have fainted reported a variety of symptoms before they fainted such as feeling dizzy, having tunnel vision with an aura, or having muffled hearing. If someone tells you they feel weak or dizzy, make sure you grab them right away and sit them down. Remind them to not stand up until they get to feeling better. If someone faints, it’s best that they have a comfortable landing spot, rather than hardwood floor. This will prevent any further issues from the fall. 

If anyone points out the following sensations it’s best to be proactive and sit them down and have them drink water. Common symptoms include feeling sweaty and/or hot, seeing “stars” or “static”, blurred vision, racing heart, and/or feeling wobbly or weak.

When fainting occurs, make sure you take your loved one to the doctor for answers.

Keep in mind that fainting is usually a one-time event and isn’t usually the cause of a serious medical condition. However, it is still important to get the individual checked out by a medical professional to ensure any unknown conditions are accounted for. Knowing the how’s and why’s of fainting will help you in the long haul. 

Taking preventative measures is especially important for your health and having answers will help with your peace of mind.

If you’re in the Galveston area and need immediate medical attention for someone who has fainted, visit Hospitality Health ER in Galveston at 4222 Seawall Blvd. For more health advice and tips, visit our blog and like us on Facebook and Instagram.