Fainting means that you become unconscious for a short while. For example, fainting may be due to blood pressure-lowering when you get up quickly. Another reason may be that you are experiencing a strong feeling. Usually, it is completely harmless to faint, but sometimes it can be due to some illness.

Symptoms of Fainting

Before you faint, any of the following may happen:

  • You feel cold sweaty.
  • You become dizzy or nauseous.
  • It blackens before the eyes or whistles in the ears.
  • Your skin turns pale.

Sometimes the fainting comes so suddenly that you can’t feel anything special before.

What is the cause of fainting?

Blood circulation to the brain becomes insufficient if you get a drop in blood pressure. You then fail and cannot control the body, but collapse. Then the blood flows back to the brain and you wake up again after a while. For example, such brief unconsciousness may be due to the fact that you have risen quickly so that your blood pressure drops. It is called orthostatic blood pressure drop.

It is not easy to wake up a person who has fainted and become unconscious. In this way, unconsciousness differs from sleep. After fainting, it is common to feel a little tired and included.

When and where should I seek care?

If you have fainted, contact a  health center or on-call reception. It is important to rule out any illness as a cause. If closed, you can wait until the on-call reception or medical center open.

Immediately contact a health care center or an on-call clinic if one or more of the following complaints are true:

  • Someone faints though they are sitting or lying down.
  • Someone faints during exertion.

If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

If it’s in a hurry

  • Someone has fainted and has fainted for more than a minute.
  • Anyone who has fainted has seizures.
  • It takes a long time for the person to recover, and the fainting is followed by confusion or drowsiness.
  • The fainting is followed by severe palpitations and irregular or very slow pulse.

How do I avoid fainting due to hypotension?

Get up slowly from a sitting or lying posture if you have an easy time to faint. It is good to touch your feet and legs if you have to stand still for a long time.

Lie down if you feel you are fainting, preferably with your legs high. Then you avoid falling and hitting if you faint. It can also help to squat with your head between your legs and breathe with calm breaths.

Ask to lie down in situations that feel uncomfortable, for example, if you are going to have a blood test. 

What should I do if someone near me faints?

If someone has fainted:   

  • Check if they have a pulse and breathe.
  • Check if wound injuries need care.
  • Make sure the person has nothing loose in the mouth that can enter the respiratory tract.
  • Loosen tight clothing and place your legs high.
  • Don’t try to wake the one who has fainted, but wait a minute to see if they wake up by themselves.
  • Don’t give anyone who has fainted anything to drink until they are fully awake.
  • Do not leave anyone who has fainted alone and made sure they continue to breathe.

Influence and participate in your care

As a patient, you have under the Patient Act chance to affect your health.

You should understand the information

In order for you to be involved in your care and treatment, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare staff. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

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