16. LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

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Loss of consciousness is a condition in which the victim lies motionless, does not respond to questions, and does not perceive his surroundings. Loss of consciousness occurs for various reasons. However, all of them have one thing in common, and that is damage to the center of consciousness – the brain.

Damage to the brain may result from direct effects – head trauma, hemorrhage, electrical trauma, poisoning (including alcohol), and indirect effects – insufficient blood flow due to bleeding, syncope, cardiac shock, or inhibition of the center that controls blood circulation and is located in the medulla oblongata as a result of its injury. Loss of consciousness can also be caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood in suffocation, poisoning, metabolic disorders such as fever, diabetes. The brain is also affected by exposure to heat and cold – heat stroke, freezing.

Loss of consciousness is manifested by a very wide range of symptoms, from shock, fainting to the state of clinical death. A greater immediate danger to the life of the victim in loss of consciousness is a sunken tongue, blocking the lumen of the airways, and inhalation of vomit.

First aid. When rendering first aid it is necessary first of all to eliminate all harmful factors, to take the victim out of the area of action of electric current, out of the room full of gas etc.

The next duty of the first aid providers is to relieve the airways; to do this the victim should be placed in the right position on his side and if necessary the mouth should be cleaned. If breathing stops and the heart stops be revived immediately.
The unconscious person should not be given any drinks or attempted feeding. The unconscious person cannot swallow, so pouring liquids or pushing food in may suffocate the victim.
Immediately after recovery of breathing and rhythmic heart activity the victim should be taken to a medical facility. The victim should always be accompanied by someone when transporting him or her.
The best position for a person who has lost consciousness is the so-called stabilized, fixed position on their side.



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