STARS Patient Information
What immediate action should I take if I am feeling faint?
- As soon as you experience 'pre-syncope' symptoms (hot, clammy, sweaty, nauseous), learn to immediately squat or lie down which could help avoid a complete blackout.
- Do not try to fight your symptoms by standing up. You are not stronger than your blood pressure and it will win!
- If you are not able to lie down, cross your ankles and tense your calf-muscles as this will help to get the blood pumping around your body and increase your blood pressure, combine this movement with buttock clenching to make effects more pronounced which will alleviate the symptoms. This is a really useful exercise if you are caught at the supermarket checkout!!
- If you are able, sit down immediately or, if possible lie down flat and put your legs in the air - for example against a wall or propped up on pillows, if you can it is preferable to do a cycling movement with your legs.
Dr Wouter Wieling, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Amsterdam, STARS medical patron demonstrates useful counterpressure manoeuvres, illustrating the direct effect they can have on blood pressure.
Prof. Richard Sutton, Professor of Clinical Cardiology, Imperial College London, STARS Medical Advisory Committee, provides further information and advice on how to prevent a syncopal (fainting) episode