Fainting can be the result of many different things. Fainting happens when not enough oxygenated blood flows into your brain and you lose consciousness, or "pass out," for a very brief time - just a few seconds or few minutes.

A sudden drop in your blood pressure can cause you to faint. Sometimes your heart rate and blood vessels can't react fast enough when your body's need for oxygen changes. This is very common among older people. It can happen when:

  • you stand up too fast
  • you work or play hard, especially if it's very hot
  • you begin to breathe too fast (called hyperventilating)
  • you get very upset - being upset can affect the nerves that control your blood pressure
  • you're taking medicine for high blood pressure.

Standing still for a while (such as a soldier on parade, or a student at assembly) can sometimes cause fainting. The blood is not returning to the heart adequately due to no muscular activity, and therefore, the brain suffers a lack of blood and therefore oxygen.

Abnormal slowing down or quickening of your heart can also reduce the blood flow to the brain. Often his can occur to those being treated for a heart complaint. Casualties with very sensitive neck area can also be victims of fainting.

Faints can be treated very easily - lie the patient down, elevate their legs and if they do not recover immediately, the casualty needs to be investigated.

Symptoms can include - weakness, light headed feeling, nausea, pale skin, sweating, blurred vision, and dizziness. Often during the brief moment of unconsciousness a small period of shakes sometimes called tonic movements may occur.

A drop in your blood sugar may also cause you to faint. This can happen if you have diabetes, but it may also happen if you just don't eat for a long time.

Some prescription medicines can cause fainting. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you think your fainting may be related to a medication you're taking. Alcohol, drugs and a number of other explanations can also cause fainting.

What should I do if I think I'm going to faint?

If you feel like you're going to faint, immediately lie down. Wait until you feel better before trying to stand up. 

Fainting can be serious. If the patient does not immediately recover after treatment of what you think is a faint, or if the casualty is behaving differently to how they normally would respond to you, a Doctor must evaluate the casualty.

If you see someone faint or collapse, don't forget to ring for an Ambulance especially if the casualty fails to respond to your treatment. Casualties suffering unexplained loss of consciousness should see a doctor.

If someone is going to faint it is important to immediately lay the casualty down and raise their legs. You should see an immediate improvement to the casualty. If they do not recover quickly call triple zero (000) for an Ambulance immediately.

First aid courses and CPR courses are run at our Birtinya training centre on the Sunshine Coast.

To book into your next first aid course please book online via our secure website or phone 07 5438 8888.

We also visit workplaces across the sunshine coast and deliver training on-site. To find out more about on-site workplace training and obtain a group quote please visit our website.


We'll never display or share your email address

Contact Us

07 5438 8888

Send us an Email

8/10 Capital Place
Birtinya QLD 4575

ABN 63 114 756 857
ACN 114 756 857