FAINTING is preceded by a distress about the heart, a swimming of the head, sometimes sickness at the stomach, coldness of the hands and feet, and a loss of sight, or a sense of things growing dark. The breathing diminishes, the pulse becomes small, the face dead pale, and the patient wilts down, and becomes more or less unconscious of what is passing around.
Whatever causes debility, particularly of the nervous system, will predispose to fainting. Persons much weakened by disease, faint easily, especially when they attempt to stand still. When on their feet, such persons should keep moving. Fainting is sometimes induced by sudden surprises and emotions, by violent pains, by the sight of human blood, and by irritation of the coats of the stomach by indigestible food.
Treatment. Lay the patient upon the back, with the head low; let fresh air into the room instantly, and apply gentle friction. Sprinkle a little cold water upon the face, and hold spirits of camphor, ether, hartshorn, or vinegar to the nose, rubbing a little of the spirits of camphor upon the forehead, and about the nostrils. As soon as the patient can swallow, give a teaspoonful of compound spirits of lavender, with ten drops of water of ammonia in it.
Persons subject to fainting should not go into crowded assemblies where the air is bad; neither should they wear tight dresses, or allow themselves to get excited. Cold bathing, a well regulated diet, and vegetable tonics, will do much to break up the habit.
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