Temporary loss of consciousness caused by disruption of blood flow to the brain, brought on by emotional upset, pain, or hunger. Some people are particularly prone to fainting, but usually recover rapidly and completely. However, if a faint lasts for longer than a few minutes, internal or external Bleeding should be suspected; this in turn may lead to Shock.
If the person has fainted but is breathing normally, put him or her in the recovery position (see Unconsciousness). When he or she comes round give reassurance, and a few sips of cold water. If internal bleeding is suspected, call 999, check the pulse at 5-minute intervals, and be prepared to give artificial respiration (see Breathing) or cardiac resuscitation (see Circulation) if necessary.
If the person is feeling faint – the signs are nausea unsteadiness, pallor, and a slow or weak pulse – sit him or her down, encourage a few deep breaths, and gently push the head towards the knees. Alternatively, get the person to lie down in the recovery position (see Unconsciousness ). Loosen any tight clothing and allow plenty of fresh air. Lift up to increase blood flow to brain.