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Fainting first aid

Would you know what to do if the person beside you suddenly fainted? Fainting can be caused by a number of things, including low blood sugar, emotional stress or heat stroke. Episodes can last a few seconds or several minutes. According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, if you see someone faint, you should:

  • Check that the person is still breathing, is not injured or bleeding and regains consciousness quickly. If not, call for emergency medical services immediately.
  • Loosen clothing around his or her neck.
  • Prop up his or her feet about a foot above heart level.
  • If the person has vomited, turn him or her on the side to prevent choking.
  • After the person regains consciousness, have him or her lie down in a cool, quiet place for at least 10 to 15 minutes. If the person can’t lie down, have him or her sit, head below the shoulders and between the knees.

Even if it didn’t seem to be an emergency situation, encourage the person to call a healthcare provider to be evaluated.