"Never sit the casualty on a chair with their head between their knees"
FaintingFainting occurs where there is sudden dilation (enlargement) of the blood vessels that reduces the blood flow to the brain. This causes the casualty to momentarily lose consciousness.
Fainting usually occurs when a person is standing still for a period of time, when they stand up suddenly from a seated or lying position, or when they are exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods of time.
Most casualties will feel the episode approaching and will say that they suddenly feel faint, light-headed or as if they are at the end of a tunnel.
Signs and symptoms of fainting
- Pale, cold, clammy skin
- Slow, weak pulse
Management of fainting
- If unconscious, place the casualty in lateral position
- If conscious, lay the casualty flat, and elevate the legs to assist blood flow to the brain (recovery is usually rapid)
- Monitor and record vital signs
- Rest and reassure the casualty
- If symptoms persist, the casualty should see a doctor to ensure they are not suffering from a more serious condition
NOTE: never sit the casualty on a chair with their head between their knees.
Image above: Management of fainting