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How to Help When Someone Faints

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
ANNOUNCER: You may have heard that this is one of the things you should do if you feel faint. But do you know why?

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : The whole reason behind becoming faint is insufficient blood flow to the brain. If they're sitting down they should just take their heads and put it as close to their knees as they can which will create a level between the brain and the heart so it's easier for the heart to pump blood to the brain.

ANNOUNCER: First aid expert Scott Caruthers explains how to help someone who feels faint.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : When a person becomes faint and they are standing up, they may begin to feel lightheaded and woozy. If you notice this, the best thing to do would be to help them lay down, all right? As very gently and slowly as possible. Cradle their head as best you can and what we're going to do is get something to cushion the head. And we're going to get an object which will allow us to raise the foot approximately eight to twelve inches and this will facilitate the blood flow coming back to center.

ANNOUNCER: It's important for the person to stay in this position until she feels better.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : If they don't feel fine within a few minutes, then that would be a good time to contact medical assistance, emergency medical technicians, because there's something more going on than just "I stood up too fast."

ANNOUNCER: Experts say while fainting spells aren't always serious, it's a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. You should call 911 if the episode is accompanied by chest pain, convulsions, or if the person is unconscious for more than a few seconds.

SCOTT CARUTHERS, FIRST AID EXPERT : If they're passed out and they don't come to, that's a little different than feeling faint. Any time anyone goes unconscious, you're calling 9-1-1, period.

ANNOUNCER: Knowing the right way to react can be a lifesaver for you and your loved ones. Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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