In this video, icyou's Medical Editor, Mona Khanna, MD, MPH, talks about things you should consider when responding to a person who is unconscious.
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Host: What do I do if I find someone who is unconscious? Dr. Mona Khanna: The most important thing to remember is, did you see this person become unconscious or did you come across this person when he or she was unconscious and that's very important because that will help determine how much you can help that person and steps that you actually take to help that person. Now let's talk about the first category. Did you see this person become unconscious while walking, talking, laughing and all of a sudden maybe they fainted or they were in a chair and they slumped over, in that case you know that they were okay before that, so that could be something that's relatively uncomplicated, in most cases. And you can put that person on the floor, and you can see if they are breathing and administer the basic CPR and basic life support to them and call 911 if they don't regain consciousness within a few minute. In a situation where you come across somebody who is unconscious, that's a completely different ball game and the reason for that is you don't know what happen to him, you don't know if they had any underlined conditions, you don't know what their medical state was, you don't know if they are injured and so forth and so on. The biggest thing to worry about is a head injury or a neck injury. So you come across somebody who is lying down don't move them, that's really important because if there is a head injury or neck injury you have the potential to enter the spinal cord which can lead to irreversible paralysis and you don't want to be any part of that. So the first thing you do of course call for help as quickly as you can, and then you are going to assess A-B-Cs airway, breathing, circulation and possibly perform CPR and basic life support for that person before emergency help arrives. There are many, many causes of unconsciousness. I mean head injuries, electrocution, asphyxiation, certain poisons, but again the most important factor is did you see this person become unconscious, whether they are normal, walking, talking, laughing before that, what did you come across the person when they were unconscious. And you need to be more cautious if you came across the person when they were unconscious.