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What causes Fainting – What you should do

Posted in Off The Track | 0 comments



This is the first article in my new category which I have named “off the track- for a reason”. In this category, I will be sharing very vital information that I believe will make a difference in the lives of my audience.

This is also where I will be addressing some news-worthy issues that either affect online business, blogging or life in general. Did you learn something new after reading this post. Are you better prepared for a medical emergency? Please leave me a comment to tell me about what new knowledge you picked up!

What is Fainting?

Fainting, also known in medical terms as syncope is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness. Many people experience fainting spells every now and then. It is very important not to just brush it off, especially if you have experienced it multiple times. The best thing to do is to be seen by a physician who determines if it is just a minor incident or one that demands further testing.

Finding out what is likely to cause you to faint helps you know what to do to reduce the chances. You will also be better prepared, with an action plan for if it does happen. So what causes fainting?

Arrhythmia – The most common cause of Fainting

There are many reasons that one will faint. The most common cause of syncope is arrhythmia. This is a condition where the heart beats so fast, sometimes as fast as 250 beats per minute or higher (normal is about 70 beats per minute), or so slow that it cannot efficiently pump enough blood to reach your brain.

A fainting spell is usually very brief and the victim recovers quickly as soon as more oxygenated blood reaches the brain. On the other hand, being unconscious is more serious as the victim may likely not recover on their own without immediate medical assistance.

Other causes of fainting

Side effects from medications, especially blood pressure medications. These medications and others that are generally used to treat heart disease can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, leading to syncope.

  1. Anxiety or panic attacks
  2. Excessive fluid loss due to prolonged or severe vomiting or diarrhea
  3. Excessive sweating
  4. Dehydration
  5. Hunger
  6. Low blood sugar

What to do when it’s you


Play it safe by calling 911 if you are alone and sense that you are about to faint. Gently get down on the floor in the position shown below, called the recovery position. If you are not able to lie down, sit down. You do not want to risk falling and hitting your head or other part of the body on the floor, as this could result in serious injury.

If you sit down, put your head down between your knees. Do not get up in a hurry after you recover from the spell. Sit there for a few minutes, then get a drink (water to rehydrate or orange or apple juice to step up your sugar level just in case your blood sugar level is low). If you have not eaten for a long time, get something to eat.

If you are in the car, pull over if you have the time, turn on your hazard light and call 911. Remain in the car to avoid exposing yourself to injury. You can also signal for help, some other drivers may stop to assist you before the paramedics arrive.

What to do when it’s someone else

If you witness someone else fainting:

  1. Help get them down to the floor and place them on their back, feet elevated to help facilitate blood flow to the brain.
  2. If a chair is closer, sit them down and put their head between their knees as shown below.Prevent a crowd from gathering around them, they need as much air as they can get.
  3. Loosen restrictive or tight clothing and accessories like ties and belts.
  4. Watch for vomiting.
  5. Make sure airway is clear.
  6. If vomiting occurs, turn head sideways to avoid choking.After about one minute, check for signs of recovery- breathing (chest rising and falling), ask them to cough, or move their hand, ask them to open their eyes.
  7. If they are still unresponsive, then you’ve got more than just fainting on your hands.
  8. Begin CPR until the emergency medical team arrives.
  9. On recovery, do not allow them to get up too quickly.
  10. Give water or juice if there’s any available.

What not to do – Do not allow a crowd around the victim!

Congratulations, you just completed a mini-course on what to do if you or someone around you faints. Please be aware of heart disease and do everything you can to protect yourself and others around you.

CPR classes are very affordable and training is provided by the American Red cross, as well as certified individual trainers. Be ready to help if needed, observe people around you, their life may be totally dependent on you.


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