First Aid Basics: What is Unconsciousness?

Unconsciousness is akin to a coma and is a very dangerous state. This is caused by a severe lack of oxygen to the brain. It may easily result in a life threatening condition as other vital functions fail. Typical causes include; circulatory conditions, poisening,concussion, loss of blood and severe breathing disturbances.

When a person is unconscious the protective reflex breaks down including; the pain reflex which allows us to feel and react to pain. Then the swallowing reflex, which is dangerous as there is a possibility that the patient has inhaled and suffocated on a foreign object. The coughing reflex also disappears and the ability to expel foreign objects which are in the airways. After this, the tongue muscle relaxes, completely blocking the airways. After this, the stomach opens, resulting in uncontrolled re flux of vomit into the mouth which is easily inhaled.

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