Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions on When Fainting is Fatal
- Potentially. There are three separate sets of considerations. The brain can’t survive very long without adequate oxygen. Whatever caused that faint, if it continues to deny oxygen to the brain, can lead to seizures, strokes and death.
- The process that caused the faint could be deadly in and of itself. Such things would include heart attacks, strokes, seizures due to bleeding inside the brain.
- Significant injuries may occur after the faint. Someone who falls may subsequently suffer a head or neck injury, which could be deadly, independent of the cause of the faint. It’s worth mentioning that it’s an especially odd behavior that people seem to travel to the bathroom when they feel dizzy. All things considered, it’s better to faint in your soft bed or surrounding carpeted floor than on the hard tile of a typical bathroom with even harder sinks, toilets and tubs in close proximity.
2. My doctor always warns me about high blood sugars. You mentioned low blood sugars as a cause of faints. Am I putting myself in danger if I’m taking sugar and my sugar level is already high?
- If you know all of that, yes. More often, you know none of that. Here’s the deal. Both a high and low glucose (blood sugar) count can cause altered mental status, fainting and coma. If your glucose level is especially high, say 900, and you drink some orange juice, it won’t make much of a difference. If your glucose level is 0, and you are given some orange juice, your life just got saved. In other words, it’s medically worth the risk if you don’t know what the glucose level is.
3. Can a loved one really take my breath away?
Yes. Overstimulation can lead to syncope in a variety of ways as mentioned previously.
4. What’s with the goats?
If you’re referring to Tennessee fainting goats, they exist. The goats don’t actually faint. When startled, they become stiff to the point of being unable to move their legs. Subsequently, the terrified goats can’t run and just topple over. Here you go.