Loss of consciousness

Choose the right healthcare service to get the care you need and to enable the NHS to help the greatest number of people.

GREEN Self-care or ask a pharmacist for advice

The person has fainted but recovers within 20 seconds. Reasons can include:

Standing up too quickly with low blood pressure

Not eating or drinking enough

Being too hot

Being very upset, angry or in pain (shock)

Heart problems

Taking drugs or alcohol

If about to faint:

  • Lie down with legs raised or sit with head lowered between knees
  • Drink some water, eat something
  • Take some deep breaths

If you see someone faint:

  • Keep calm
  • If you can, lay them on their back and raise their legs
  • Usually, the person who has fainted will wake up within 20 seconds. If not, you need emergency help, call 999 or immediately take them to Queen Alexander Hospital in Cosham

AMBER It is urgent but not life threatening 

The person has fainted and does not know the cause

The person has recently fainted more than once

There are Doctors, or General Practitioners (GPs) based at 12 GP practices in Portsmouth. Call or book an appointment online.

Do not self-drive

RED It is a life-threatening medical emergency

The person cannot be woken after one minute

The person is unconscious from a fall or blow

The person is shaking and jerking after fainting

More than two faints in a 24 hr period

Loss of consciousness following chest pain or new neurological deficit i.e. loss of function or feeling somewhere in the body, even if it returns later

Call 999 immediately or go to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

Do not self-drive