Altered Level of Consciousness


People may exhibit an altered level of consciousness due to various causes including trauma or medical conditions such as diabetes or stroke.  A patient in coma is in danger since he/she cannot protect his/her airway.  The tongue may fall back and block the air passage.  Steps should be taken immediately to maintain his/her airway.  

If you come by a person who is unconscious

you should:

l      Stay calm and dial ‘ 999 ’ for an ambulance immediately

l      Roll the victim on his/her side to drain any saliva or vomitus from mouth

l      Loosen any constricting clothing around the neck, chest and waist.

l      Keep the patient warm and cover the patient with blanket or clothing

l      Stay with the patient until the ambulance personnel arrive

Do not:

l      Do not place anything such as pillow under the patient’s head

l      Do not sit him/her up 

l      Do not give him/her anything by mouth

Information provided by Fire Services Ambulance Command Training School (11/2002)

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