In this article the Stop Fainting team answer the most frequently asked questions by our patients about Coronavirus / Covid 19.
Question: I faint. Am I at a higher risk for the Coronavirus?
Having a tendency to faint WITHOUT any other of the health conditions outlined in http://www.nhs.uk advice does not put you in a high risk group.Examples of relevant health conditions include: respiratory conditions such as COPD or cardiac conditions such as heart failure, ischaemic heart disease or HIGH blood pressure.
Faints involve a drop in blood pressure and or heart rate. The majority of our patients have a tendency to a LOW not high blood pressure.
Question: I have been feeling / having more faints. Why?
There is unlikely to be a single answer to this question.
The first thing to ask yourself is are you following all our usual advice? In recent weeks all our lives have had to change in so many ways – many profound some seemingly minor. All of these changes my have an impact on your daily efforts to stop fainting. Are you drinking more caffeine because you are at home? Are you missing the water cooler at work? Is your food less salty? Little changes in your routine can impact your hydration efforts.
Similarly, mundane changes in how we now travel and shop may also have an impact. Social distancing now mean longer times spent in queues. Remember your compression tights and/or isometric manoeuvres when waiting for the checkout.
Finally, Covid 19 has presented us all with numerous stressors. We are all faced with dealing with additional social, economic and psychological hardships. Remember, our stress response plays a key role in coordinating our blood pressure control. For some of us these uncommon and uncertain times will create further triggers.
Question: How can I best help myself and others around me?
We ALL have a responsibility to follow the advice on social distancing and infection control. It is vital that we all take care to frequently wash our hands in hot, soapy water for 20 seconds frequently (especially if we have been outside) or use sanitiser gel and avoid touching our face.
As a fainter, it is now vitally important that you do the ‘basics’ of our Stop fainting advice (hydration, and avoiding triggers) well. However, if you do feel faint you must take immediate evasive action (lay down and or raise your legs) to avoid a full loss of consciousness and possible injury.
Some patients have highlighted a reluctance to take action when out because others might think that they are unwell with coronavirus. Your priority to to keep safe. Taking action early will help you to keep safe but also to reassure others that this is ‘normal’ for you and benign. Feel empowered to take control!
Last, but by no means least, it is important to look after our mental as well and physical wellbeing. Those at home, use the opportunity to explore meditation, mindfulness and or yoga. Listen to some music or bake – if you can find any flour! Or maybe just limit you consumption to the 24hour news cycle which some can find overwhelming at this time.
For those requiring further support STARS https://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/stars/uk/ offer a valuable telephone and social media platform for people who share your symptoms which you may find helpful.
The Stop Fainting Team hope that you find our resources of help and PLEASE remember:
PROTECT THE NHS