Signs, symptoms and what to do in the event of someone fainting.
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Written by Sonder Health
Updated over a week ago

In a medical emergency call an ambulance dial 000 in Australia or 111 in New Zealand.

The DRSABCD Action Plan is the first step when providing first aid. Use this to assess the immediate situation. DRSABCD Danger > Response > Send for help > Airway > Breathing > CPR > Defibrillation.

DO NOT sit the patient on a chair with their head between their knees.

Signs and symptoms
• Pale, cool, moist skin
• Numbness in the fingers and toes
• Nausea
• Faintness, dizziness
• Confusion
• Loss of consciousness

What to do
1. Follow DRSABCD
2. Lie the patient down on their back with their legs elevated.
3. Loosen any tight clothing.
4. Ensure plenty of fresh air – open a window if possible.
5. Treat any injury resulting from a fall.
6. If fainting is the result of an underlying medical condition, advise the patient to seek medical aid.

Fainting is a partial or complete loss of consciousness caused by a temporary reduction of blood flow to the brain.

People usually recover from fainting quickly, often within seconds, without any lasting effects.

Fainting can occur at any time and may be triggered by:

• Emotional shock
• Pain
• Overexertion
• Exhaustion
• Lack of food
• Sight of blood
• Low blood pressure
• Standing still in hot conditions.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Information originally published by St John Ambulance Australia.

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