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OM First Aid
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Parents losing consciousness during family dispute
Listed : [2001-07-16, 04:54:52]
A. Definition

In movies or scenes from T.V. soap operas, we see parents arguing angrily with their children, and suddenly falling to the ground while holding the back of their necks. This could also occur in real life and occurs often during family disputes. Without prompt treatment, paralysis or even death is possible.

B. Cause

The automatic nervous system controls our somatic organs and vessels. The autonomic nervous system is categorized into two types.

· Sympathetic nervous system
· Parasympathetic nervous system

The autonomic nervous system controls the heart and its vessels. Normally, a heart beats 70-80 times per minute. However, excitation of sympathetic nervous system due to emotional change or sudden bodily movement increases the beating of the heart, which causes an increase in total cardiac output volume. Inversely, the blood volume of capillary vessels will decrease. Excitation of parasympathetic nervous system decreases heartbeat, and increases the blood volume of capillary vessels. Both conditions cause abnormality in blood circulation.

Heart, different from other organs, is very sensitive to emotional changes. It is difficult to predict how the beating of the heart would be affected because the heart is controlled by both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Sympathetic nervous system is triggered by:

· Surprise
· Excitement
· Joy
· Anger
· Bodily movement

Parasympathetic nervous system is triggered by:

· Fear
· Miserable situations
· Sadness

Losing consciousness during family disputes is a result of sympathetic nervous system excitation causing an increase of cerebral blood supply, which eventually becomes cerebral hemorrhage. People with arteriosclerosis or hypertension have worse prognosis in these cases.

C. Symptoms

Symptoms vary with emotional changes, which include:

· Reddening of the face
· Grabbing the back of the neck with hands
· Losing consciousness
· Foaming around the mouth
· Trembling of extremities
· Groaning


D. First Aid

Treat promptly without hesitation.

· First, elevate the feet and lower the head.
· Acupuncture point: Shixuan
· Method: Hold near the point with your left hand and needle 2mm into the point to draw blood.
· Give laxative to the patient. Massage the extremities.
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