It is a norms amongst uninformed Nigerians to pour water, slap or yell at people who fainted around them, believing that will spur them to consciousness. While the zeal to save a life is applaudable and quite lovely, it should be understood that using the methods earlier listed cannot in any way help to bring the unconscious person back to life rather it might even lead to more danger.
Pictures source: Google
In this article, I’ll buttress on a consultant surgeon Prof. Andrew Ugburo’s essay, where he explained the best and appropriate measure to respond to a person who has fainted or is unconscious.
While he has made it very clear that a person who faints can be best treated at a medical center or the hospital, he expressed that in the case of emergency, the best thing to do is not to force liquid such as glucose drink and water into the throat of such an individual in the process of resuscitation as it could even compound the condition.
“In fact, they are dangerous because trying to force anything into the mouth of a fainted person can make him aspirate — that is, the fluid you are giving him can go into the lungs instead of the stomach.
“If it enters the lungs, you would have compounded the problem of that person”
He reiterated on the need for every citizen to be taught the Basic Trauma Life Support, as it would help people understand what and what not to do to someone in some complex health situation.
While explaining his saddening encounter of such incidents, he said “I have seen people in Church and football field lose consciousness. And the next minute, you see people trying to fan them and pour water on their bodies,” .
According to him, when a rescue party cannot revive or do resuscitation for patients, the next best thing to do is to rush the person to the nearest hospital.
He then opined that people who are not taught how to properly attend to people with health emergencies should broaden their knowledge by checking the popular streaming video platform YouTube.
However, he had explained that when a person faints or is unconscious, it simply mean that something is obstructing the person’s throat making difficult to breath. He advised that all the person needs is oxygen to start breathing properly again.
Deductively, since all the person needs to come alive is breathing, then anything that enables the victim to breath properly would be advisable. The victim should be made to lie straight on his/her left side to enable air go easily through the throat.
This activity at rescue shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or the consequences could be fatal. This can be properly carried out by a professional and thus a medical center should be quickly sought in such case.
Conclusively, it doesn’t make sense pouring water, fanning, tapping the hand, slapping the foot with slippers and screaming out the name of a patient to revive him. What he just needs is oxygen to make the blood flow again.