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When Mr. Wells Fainted

Mr. Wells, a resident at Meadowbrook Assisted Living Facility, was participating in group exercises in the common room of the facility. Though Mr. Wells can normally do the exercises without a problem, today he felt weak and had to sit down. His face turned pale, and he began to sweat; then he collapsed into his chair quickly, without any warning to the others around him.

Ron, a certified nursing assistant, was working nearby with another resident when he saw Mr. Wells faint. He quickly ran over to Mr. Wells, carefully lowered him to the floor, and called his nursing supervisor over to help, and together, they revived Mr. Wells. They loosened his shirt at the neck to give him more air, but they didn’t give him anything to drink or eat because he might throw up. After waiting until Mr. Wells felt strong enough to stand, they helped him to his room to rest. Ron’s nursing supervisor called Mr. Wells’s doctor to report the incident so that the doctor will come to check on him tomorrow to make sure the fainting episode is not a sign of a serious illness.

When someone faints, the blood supply to the brain is cut off for a short time, and the person loses consciousness. He feels weak and dizzy, and he may fall. Fainting can happen when people are dehydrated, weak from hunger, emotionally stressed, too hot, or tired from standing for long periods of time. Fainting can also occur if residents have serious heart conditions or experience side effects from their medications. Nursing assistants should try to make sure that residents have adequate food and liquids throughout the day, are not too tired to participate in physical activities like exercise, and feel calm and safe, not stressed or angry.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners