faintsWitnessing someone faint can be nerve-wracking. What’s going on with them? Should you call for an ambulance right away? Fainting in both kids and adults can indicate more serious conditions, like a heart condition or high blood pressure. So if you’re wondering what to do if someone faints,  your safest bet is to go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

In the meantime, here are some facts that may help you manage until the paramedics arrive or until you get to the ER.

What You Should Know if A Person Who Faints

What Do I Do if Someone Faints?

If someone faints, check their breathing to ensure it’s normal. If you notice anything unusual, this should prompt you to call 911 right away. Immediate medical attention is highly recommended, especially if the person fainted while playing sports or engaging in other strenuous activities. Even if the person comes to after a few seconds or minutes, you should still follow up with a doctor so they can guide you through next steps.

Why Does Fainting Happen?

Syncope,” the formal medical term for fainting, is a result of low blood flow to the brain. This low blood flow can be caused by panic, fear, anxiety, heart complications or circulation issues. It can also be the result of standing up too quickly or not drinking enough fluids.

For certain groups, fainting may be common. For example,  it’s not unusual for pregnant women to faint because their cardiovascular system is dealing with dramatic changes. Their heart rate increases and pumps more blood per minute, and the amount of blood in their body increases by 30 to 50 percent.

Although it may be worrying to see your child faint, know that fainting is actually pretty common in older children. An estimated 20 percent of teens have fainted at least once in their life. The medical community suspects that fainting is more common in older children because of hormonal changes or a lack of fluids. If  your child is a repeat fainter, either from anxiousness or because of a health condition, you should inform anyone in charge of their care: their teachers, school nurse, sports coaches, and any other people in your child’s life. This way they are prepared to react. Even if the reason for fainting may not be cause for concern, you want to prevent injuries that can happen when a person faints whenever possible.

What Does Fainting Feel Like?

People who have fainted reported a variety of symptoms before they fainted such as feeling dizzy, having tunnel vision with an aura, or having muffled hearing. If someone tells you they feel weak or dizzy, make sure you grab them right away and sit them down.

If you’re in the Galveston area and need immediate medical attention for someone who has fainted, visit Hospitality Health ER in Galveston at 4222 Seawall Blvd.