Brief unconsciousness (or fainting) is often a result from dehydration, low blood sugar, or temporary low blood pressure. It can also be caused by serious heart or nervous system problems. A doctor will determine if the affected person needs tests.
In seniors, orthostatic hypotension (a sudden drop in blood pressure) reflex syncope (a side effect of carotid sinus syndrome), and heart disease are the most common causes of fainting.
Common causes of decreased consciousness include:
In older adults, the most common causes of syncope are orthostatic hypotension, reflex syncope, and heart disease.
Common causes of temporary unconsciousness include:
According to the National 911 Office, you should call 911 if an elder who has lost consciousness. Seek immediate medical attention, particularly if the senior has heart problems, is prone to fainting episodes, or if they have lost consciousness and fallen down as a result of fainting.
Some common ones include:
Fainting is the sudden and temporary loss of consciousness, and consciousness arises from neural activity in the cerebral cortex. Anything that disrupts neural activity in the cerebral cortex can cause loss of consciousness. The most common cause of fainting is insufficient blood flow to the brain.
When a person faints, it’s usually temporary and the person can be revived in a few minutes. Someone who is unconsciousness, however, won’t respond to attempts to revive him. An unconscious person can’t cough or clear his throat, which can be dangerous if something is stuck in his throat or airway.
The stressful event stimulates a bodily reflex called the vasovagal reaction. The heart slows down and pumps less blood, so blood pressure drops. Then the brain doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood, and the person faints.
Most unexplained blackouts are caused by syncope Many people, including doctors, assume that blackouts are due to epileptic seizures, but much more commonly they are due to syncope (pronounced sin-co-pee) – a type of blackout which is caused by a problem in the regulation of blood pressure or sometimes with the heart.
Loss of consciousness is a partial or complete loss of the perception of yourself and all that around you. When the loss of consciousness is temporary and there is a spontaneous recovery, that is to say, “a blackout”, in medical terms it is known as a syncope.
Drowsiness, Increased Sleep and/or Unresponsiveness Patients often lose consciousness and may lapse into a comatose state at the end of life, but most are still able to hear even after they can no longer speak. Do not attempt to shake or rouse your loved one if they are unresponsive.
What do I do if the unresponsive person’s breathing doesn’t seem normal? Sometimes when a person is unresponsive their breathing may become noisy, irregular or gasping. This is usually a sign that their heart and lungs are not working properly and you should treat them as an unresponsive person who is not breathing.
Medically speaking, when a person is called unresponsive, it means they ‘re at least unconscious, and possibly dead or dying. Definitions of unresponsive. adjective. not responding to some influence or stimulus.