What to do if an individual is unconscious?

An unconscious individual could not respond to stimuli and appears to be in a state of sleep. The state of unconsciousness can only last for a few seconds or longer. Individuals who become unconscious no longer respond to shaking or loud sounds. The breathing can even stop or the pulse is weak. This state requires emergency care right away. As long as the individual receives the appropriate first aid care right away without any delay, the outlook will be a desirable one.


An unconscious individual could not respond to stimuli and appears to be in a state of sleep.

Causes of unconsciousness

An individual who is unconscious becomes unresponsive abruptly. He/she could no longer communicate or even respond to any form of stimulation. It can be brought about by injury, illness or any complications from alcohol or drug abuse. Other common causes of unconsciousness include:

  • Severe blood loss
  • Vehicular accident
  • Blow to the chest or head
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Overdose of drugs

An individual can become unconscious momentarily if there are abrupt changes that occur within the body such as the following:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Dehydration
  • Hyperventilation
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Straining

Indications that an individual will become unconscious

These symptoms can indicate that the individual is about to become unconscious:

  • Slurred speech
  • Abrupt unresponsiveness
  • Fast heart beat
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

What are the first aid measures for unconsciousness?

Once an individual is unconscious, you have to perform the following first aid measures right away in order to prevent any damaged that might have incurred when the individual fallen into an unconscious state, especially if you discovered him/her alone.

  • Inspect if the individual is breathing. In case he/she is still breathing, position him/her on his/her back.
  • Elevate the legs at least 12 inches higher than the ground.
  • If restrictive clothing or belts are used, you have to loosen them. If the individual does not regain consciousness in one minute, call for emergency assistance.
  • Check the airway to ensure that it is not blocked.
  • Check if the individual is breathing, moving or coughing since these are indications of a positive circulation. If these are not present, perform CPR until the medical team arrives.

Medical treatment for unconsciousness

In case unconsciousness was caused by a drop in the blood pressure, your doctor or health care professional in the hospital will administer medications via injection in order to restore the normal blood pressure. For low blood sugar level, the individual will be given something sweet to eat or an injection of glucose. As for injuries that caused the individual to become unconscious, this can be corrected by surgical intervention or other modes of treatment that can be readily provided in any health care facility.

Outlook for unconsciousness

When it comes to the outlook of an individual who became unconscious, it greatly depends on the cause why he/she became unconscious. Nevertheless, if emergency treatment was delivered right away without any delay, the outlook will be a better one.


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