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A blackout (or faint) is a sudden loss of consciousness caused by a shortage of blood and oxygen to the brain. This may only last for a second but it could be enough to cause a fall to the ground.

Blackouts can be difficult to identify, particularly if they are brief, but they should be suspected if you cannot recall the fall and / or have injuries to your face, as this suggests you did not put your hands out to save yourself.

Blackouts are very common and happen more often as we age. Common causes include:

  • A drop in blood pressure when changing position (e.g. standing up from a chair)
  • Heart disorders
  • Anxiety / panic attacks / stress

If you think you may have had a blackout, it is important that you inform your GP so the cause can be investigated.

More information can be found here