A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Fainting:  Fainting also known as blacking out or syncope is the temporary loss of consciousness followed by the return to full wakefulness. This loss of consciousness may be accompanied by loss of muscle tone that can result in falling or slumping over. The brain has multiple parts including two hemispheres, the cerebellum and the brain stem. The brain requires blood flow to provide oxygen and glucose (sugar) to its cells to sustain life.

For the body to be awake, an area known as the reticular activating system located in the brain stem needs to be turned on and at least one brain hemisphere needs to be functioning.

For fainting or syncope to occur, either the reticular activating system needs to lose its blood supply or both hemispheres of the brain need to be deprived of blood, oxygen or glucose.

If a person faints and doesn't regain consciousness within one or two minutes, put them into the recovery position. To do this:
  •     place them on their side so they're supported by one leg and one arm
  •     open their airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin
  •     monitor their breathing and pulse continuously 
You should then call for an ambulance and stay with the person until medical help arrives.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

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