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. Fainting can occur 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.
  • a drop in blood sugar, if you have diabetes and have not eaten for a long time
  • some prescription medication
  • alcohol or drugs may also cause fainting

Standing still for a while (such as a soldier on parade, or a student at assembly) may also 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 this can occur to those being treated for a heart complaint. Casualties with very sensitive neck area can also be victims of fainting. 

Fainting is easily treatable- simply lie the patient down, elevate their legs and if they do not recover immediately, then it is recommended to seek further assistance and contact triple zero (000) for an Ambulance

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.

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 they are 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. 
A good little jingle to remember is “If the face is pale raise the tail”.

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