First aid and recovery after fainting

  • CareBuddy
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 21 Sep 2022
  • First Aid & CPR

Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness that usually lasts a few seconds or minutes, then the person wakes up. The care receiver may have warning symptoms of dizziness preceding a fainting episode.

Common causes of fainting

Fainting is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain. There’s a wide range of different factors that could cause this reduction in blood flow that leads to fainting.

They include:

  • Pain
  • Fear or other emotional trauma
  • Hunger
  • Prolonged standing in one place
  • Standing or sitting up too quickly
  • Low blood sugar due to diabetes
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Hyperventilation
  • Dehydration
  • Strenuous physical activity in hot temperatures
  • Drugs or alcohol
  • Seizures
  • Coughing too hard

First aid for fainting

  1. Lay the care receiver on a flat surface with legs elevated if there is no evidence of injury due to the fainting fall.
  2. Check that the care receiver is breathing.
  3. Check that the heart is beating.
  4. Call 995 for medical attention.

Recovery after fainting

Many people who faint will recover quickly and not suffer any long-term health effects. But it’s never good to assume. Always seek professional medical advice after any fainting spell to ensure that it’s not a result of an underlying condition, or if it is, how you can deal with it.

Article reviewed by David Tay, Senior Principal Educator (Nursing and Prehospital Care), HMI Institute.

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