Dizzy spells or fainting is also known as syncope. Syncope, in medical parlance, means sudden or temporary loss of consciousness. When the patient regains their sense or consciousness, they return to their normal state or wakefulness.
A person faints when there is inadequate blood supply to the brain, and there is a considerable drop in one’s blood pressure. There are many significant and insignificant reasons why a person may experience fainting. It could be something as simple as dehydration or due to a severe cardiovascular condition. Therefore, fainting should not be ignored.
The basic protocol to follow for fainting until proper medical aid arrives is as follows:
- Maintain Calm
If dealing with a person who has fainted, the caregiver should stay calm. If they notice the person swooning, they should be quick to catch the person and slowly help them lay on the ground. It is best not to let them collapse as the person in question could hurt their head, and it could lead to further complications. Don’t let people gather or crowd the fainted person as they need more fresh air.
- Lay them on their back
The heart can pump blood to the brain when both are at the same level. Therefore, it is essential to lay down the ‘fainted’ person in sleeping position. One may raise their legs to increase the blood flow to the brain. A person may regain consciousness within a minute or in 20 seconds. If the person is wearing tight clothes, jackets, tie, etc. it may be loosened to make the person comfortable.
- Settle the patient
Just because the person has regained consciousness doesn’t mean they are fit to move around. They can faint again so it best to let them lay on the ground for at least 10 minutes so the blood supply to the brain is restored.
If they can sit, ask them to sit with their head bent into their knees so that their head and heart are at the same level. Once they feel better, offer them water or juice to cure their dehydration or low blood sugar. If there is an injury caused due to fainting or if they have difficulty in breathing or they experience a severe headache or chest pains or if the person is pregnant or has high BP, a doctor should be consulted.
- In case, the patient doesn’t regain consciousness
In such a case, there is no time to lose and a doctor should be called/summoned right away. One should check the patient’s pulse in the neck region as it is the strongest there.