How to treat fainting

If this is an emergency, please call 000 immediately.

What is fainting?

If this is an emergency, call 000 immediately.

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.

This guide is regularly updated and aligns with the current edition of Australian First Aid (4th edition, 7/2011)

Signs and Symptoms

 

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

 

What to do

Follow DRSABCD.

 

 

Lie the patient down on their back with their legs elevated.

 

Loosen any tight clothing.

 

Ensure plenty of fresh air – open a window if possible.

 

Treat any injury resulting from a fall.

 

If fainting is the result of an underlying medical condition, advise the patient to seek medical aid.

Resources

Fainting fact sheet

DRSABCD poster

Related advice

How to perform CPR on an adult

If an adult is unresponsive and not breathing normally, you need to call 000 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

How to perform CPR on an infant

If an infant is unresponsive and not breathing normally, you need to call 000 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

DRSABCD Action Plan  

The St John DRSABCD Action Plan is crucial in assessing whether a patient has any life-threatening conditions and if any immediate first aid is necessary.

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