Blackout: What to do when someone faints

When writing your stories you want to be realistic and nothing is more realistic than when something goes wrong during a scene. Below is a wonder article on what to do and what not to do.

Blackout: What to do when someone faints

  • Fainting or blacking out (known medically as “syncope”) is not infrequent in a dungeon/play setting. In a majority of cases, the faint-ee will recover quickly. Don’t panic!
  • At an event/venue where there are medical staff available, IMMEDIATELY call medical staff if someone faints.

If you have no medical background/training, here are some guidelines on what to do if someone faints:

      • Take a first aid/CPR class! This quick guide is intended to supplement and review that content, not replace it.
      • Fainting is caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. Often people have symptoms such as being lightheaded, dizzy, nauseated, or seeing black prior to actually passing out. Laying down may keep them from fainting.
      • As a lay person in the field, you have no way to know for sure why someone has fainted or if it is serious. 911 activation is not *necessary* in every case, but it is ALWAYS OK to err on the side of caution and call. If the person comes around and doesn’t want medical care, they can refuse transport. Note that they *may* be billed for the ambulance call, even if they don’t go to ER.
      • If the person who fainted (or is feeling faint) is not already laying down, lay them down. GET HELP- unconscious people are heavy.
      • If they are restrained, be sure they are adequately braced so they will not fall when you remove/cut off their restraints. Bracing one of your legs between theirs can be a good way to do this.
      • Check for responsiveness- tap them on the shoulder or chest/back and loudly ask “are you OK?” In many cases, just the time and action of laying them down is all it will take for them to start coming around.
      • If they are not responding, check for breathing. If there is no breathing (or no normal breathing- only gasps, for example)- call 911. Start CPR if you know how, or wait for 911 operator instructions.
      • If they are breathing normally but are still not responsive, and were lowered/assisted to the ground without trauma place them in the recovery position (on their side).
      • Loosen or remove any restrictive clothing like corsets, collars, or belts.
      • If the person fell or otherwise had trauma when they fainted, do not move them. Monitor for responsiveness (tap them on the shoulder or chest/back and loudly ask “are you OK?”), watch for vomiting, keep them still, and call 911.
      • Continue to try to get the person to respond to you by tapping them on the shoulders/chest and talking loudly to them. I would not recommend using smelling salts/ammonia, especially if there was trauma.
      • If the person does not “wake up” within 1 minute, call 911 and continue to monitor breathing.
      • When the person wakes up:
              • Keep them laying down for at least 15 minutes.
              • Consider giving them juice to drink, especially if they are diabetic or have not eaten recently.
              • They should consider consulting their doctor, especially if they have repeated episodes.

        Stef and Shay bounce houseStefanos & Shay ( are a vivacious, unconventional D/s couple with over 8 years of experience educating, hosting, performing, and advocating together within the BDSM community. Issues they are passionate about include risk awareness and healing/recovery from abuse. Shay is a nurse by day and education director for the SF Citadel by night; Stefanos is all kink all the time in his professional life as the Producer/Steward of’s The Upper Floor and CEO of Bondage-a-Go-Go. They’re compulsive volunteers within the leather community, and identify as pansexual polyamorist playsluts (and probably a few other P’s they haven’t thought of yet).

      • Posted here with permission .

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