Have you ever felt a sudden dizziness? On the street, at work, or coming home are all situations in which this can suddenly happen. If so, you have suffered from a fainting spell, something quite common and not dangerous, so long as you know how to act.
What is a fainting spell and what is the cause?
It is the feeling of dizziness, without the loss of consciousness, caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain. It lasts a short time and has a fast and complete recovery. Anxiety, long periods of fasting, excessive heat, staying in closed, hot places for a long time or standing for a long time can cause a feeling of faintness. There are some signs that can help us prevent this from happening.
Be alert if you feel:
- Rare sensations (blurred visions, tingling in the hands)
- Pale, cold and sweaty skin
- Weakness in the legs
- Radical pulse (in the wrist): weak, slow and even arrhythmic
- Nausea or cramps
What should you do if you see that someone is suffering from a fainting spell or dizziness?
According to the SAMUR First Aid Guide Civil Protection, these are the stops to follow:
- Remain calm.
- Try to keep the person from falling to the ground. If anything, it is best to place them on the ground. If they are already on the ground, put them on their back and elevate their legs about 45 degrees.
- Make sure they are able to breath without difficulty (loosen the neck of their shirt, loosen their pants and try not to have too many people around).
- Find a cool environment with air conditioning.
- Call the emergency service.
- Check if they have any wounds.
- When they have completely recovered, have them get up slowly, waiting in each position for a minute as they get up to ensure that the dizziness does not repeat itself.
What you should NOT do in the presence of dizziness or faintness:
- Give them anything to eat or drink. You must wait until they are fully recovered, as they can choke.
- Give them medicine.
- Allow them to get up abruptly.
How can you avoid fainting spells or sudden dizziness?
It is best to be hydrated, especially in the summer and avoid closed places without ventilation. It should be noted that fainting is not a heat stroke. A heat stroke is a medical emergency caused by an increase in temperature of more than 40 degrees and has symptoms such as disturbances of consciousness, cramps, fainting and difficulty speaking.
*Content validated by the mediQuo medical team.