Loss of consciousness in children or adults occurs when one suddenly loses awareness of their surroundings and appears to be asleep. It could persist for just a few seconds, many minutes, or even hours, depending on the circumstances. It’s possible the individual won’t react to anything, breathe, or have a pulse at all.
When the brain does not receive enough oxygen, the person loses consciousness, which means they become unaware of their immediate surroundings. Usually, there’s a specific trigger, like getting bad news, being in immense pain, having a severe phobia of needles, etc. Immediately contact emergency services if a patient with a cardiac or neurological condition, or who is on certain medications, loses consciousness.
Syncope is the medical word for a temporary loss of consciousness from which a patient recovers on their own. Almost one in every thirty admissions to the ER is due to syncope.
A sudden and temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain causes syncope. A temporary drop in brain blood flow can be the result of heart disease, but in most cases it is due to something else.
What Causes Loss of Consciousness in Children?
Loss of consciousness in children can be caused by a health problem, an accident, or a complication from using drugs too much.
Common factors include:
- Injuries sustained in car crashes
- Extreme bleeding
- A hard smack to the head or chest
- caused by an overdose of drugs or medications
- Vasovagal Syncope
This is the primary cause in almost all reported incidents. What causes it is a reflex in the neural system that occurs automatically. In some cases, after giving a blood sample, experiencing intense pain, or performing bodily functions like urinating, defecating, or coughing violently, unconsciousness might occur (situational syncope). Extreme mental tension, hunger, and thirst can all bring on this predicament as well.
- Postural Hypertension
It’s the drop in blood pressure that happens when you go from lying down to sitting up, or vice versa.
Reduces blood volume and, by extension, brain blood flow.
- Prescription medication for high blood pressure.
Over time, they might cause dangerously low blood pressure.
- Strokes such as: ischemic stroke, cerebral stroke, and transient ischaemic attack.
- Migraine attack.
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and other drugs
- Heart rhythm problems (the heart beats too quickly or too slowly).
- Heart valve abnormalities (aortic stenosis or pulmonary valve stenosis).
- A disease affecting the heart’s muscles (cardiomyopathy).
- Aortic disease (aortic dissection due to aneurysms).
Loss of Consciousness Symptoms
- Dizziness. Feeling like you might pass out at any moment and being physically unsteady (you can’t stand up straight).
- An overwhelming sensation of heat. Most of the time, the first sign is feeling very hot, especially in the head and neck.
- Blurry vision. It’s a frequent sign right before passing out.
- Sweating coldly. It’s a common symptom.
- The inability to walk or talk normally because of a heavy feeling in the legs.
- Bewilderment, a state of mental confusion. They may first report confusion about their location, the date and time, and their inability to form rational thoughts.
- Nausea and, in rare cases, vomiting may also occur.
Ways to Prevent Children from Passing Out
To avoid fainting from dehydration:
Always remember to drink plenty of water. Please make sure your child drinks enough water. Tell him or her to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Take in more salt. Pretzels and crackers are salty snacks that are low in fat.
A long period of standing increases the risk of passing out:
Remind your kid that locking knees isn’t a good idea when standing.
Tell your child to tighten and relax their leg muscles to increase blood flow.
When a child has collapsed while standing:
Get your kid to sit slowly, with his or her legs hanging off the bed; have him or her wiggle his or her toes and take a couple of deep breaths before getting out of bed.
Instruct your child to sit or lie down immediately if he or she has symptoms of fainting.
Measures to Perform First Aid for Loss of Consciousness
Simple but important steps to take if you come across someone who has lost consciousness are as follows:
See if they are still alive by seeing if they are breathing. If you see that a person has stopped breathing, call 911 or get them to the nearest urgent care facility right away. If the patient is still breathing, lay them gently on their back.
Keep the person’s legs about 12 inches off the ground.
Loosen the belt and any other apparel that might be preventing airflow. If the person remains unresponsive after one minute, call emergency services.
Ensure that there are no blockages in the individual’s airways.
Verify once again that the individual is breathing, coughing, and/or moving. If so, then there is a good chance that circulation is improving. If these signs are absent, CPR should be performed until medical assistance arrives.
Apply direct pressure to stop serious bleeding until medical help arrives.
What causes a person to lose consciousness or experience a decline in consciousness is an important consideration in determining the best course of treatment. To get to the root of the problem, you might have to change medications, start something new, or just treat the symptoms. For instance, a brain hemorrhage requires immediate medical attention and, in some cases, surgery. Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is now incurable. In such a situation, you and your health professionals will work together to develop a plan to alleviate your symptoms and preserve your quality of life for as long as is feasible.
A loss of consciousness or a significant decrease in the level of consciousness may indicate a life-threatening condition. You should get medical help right away because delaying could have serious consequences for your health. Spending more time in a state of diminished consciousness can worsen your health.
If you start to feel as though you may have lost consciousness, it’s important to contact your doctor right away. Therefore, they can start treatment right away.