Why are we fainting?

All of a sudden, one is no longer master of his senses and any perception of the outside world disappears: the powerlessness (lat. Syncope) is a frightening state. There are some typical situations in which people often faint. Thus, in very low blood pressure or shock states often synonymous fainting. But why does man ever faint? Which processes in the organism are responsible for this?

Disruption of cerebral circulation as the cause of fainting

A short-term unconsciousness is called powerlessness, because in this time one is "without power" over his psychic and thereby also physical processes. The most common cause of fainting is a short-term disruption of cerebral blood flow.

The brain is a sophisticated and complex system, which reacts immediately to the slightest irregularity. The body knows how to protect itself and is programmed to sustain the life-sustaining body functions in emergency situations. Thus, it reduces its higher brain functions in order to maintain survival-critical processes such as respiration and heartbeat.

Possible cause: malfunction of a nerve center

A transient disruption of cerebral blood flow can be caused by a malfunction of one of the nerve centers that control cardiac function and sit in the heart and heartbeats. There is also the center of blood pressure regulation. Here disorders have a short-term drop in blood pressure.

Other causes of powerlessness

The syncope (short-term unconsciousness or fainting) differs depending on the affected nerve center. One differentiates:

  • vagovasal syncope (unconsciousness occurs due to drop in blood pressure and pulse)
  • Micturition syncope (unconsciousness occurs when urinating)
  • Hustensynkopen
  • orthostatic syncope (the unconsciousness occurs as soon as the affected person goes from the horizontal to the vertical) and
  • the Adam Stokes attack, in which our biological pacemaker in the heart briefly exposes.

In case of clinical shock, fainting occurs as a result of loss of blood following injury, or as the blood vessels become slack and the venous return of the blood to the heart is suppressed.

For the medical cause of the fainting it is crucial to determine whether the fainting has followed a fall, because of syncope, generalized seizures in epilepsy, but also hypoglycaemia in diabetes or brain pressure increases, as they can wrap themselves after bleeding in an accident is a fall typical.

Fainting and memory loss

The memory of the person affected is also affected by the temporary shutdown of brain functions. Memory loss (amnesia) depends on the period of unconsciousness. The longer you have been unconscious, the more likely there is a gap in memory that, in extreme cases, can extend to several days.

To prevent fainting

If you have a suspicion of becoming unconscious in a few seconds or minutes, you should sit on the floor as much as possible. This will help you avoid injury from falls. In addition, you should put your legs up so that the blood can flow back towards the brain.

Help with powerlessness

If you are present while another person becomes unconscious, you can best help her by placing her in a stable lateral position and controlling her breathing and heart rate. Also, the high positioning of the feet can be helpful. An ambulance should be called if the person does not recover quickly or has an irregular pulse or breathing. In addition, the ambulance can also get to the root of the powerlessness.

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