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Life support and First Aid

There are four situations which may be most common in adults undergoing treatments in a beauty clinic.  Basic Adult Life Support, Adult Choking, Adult Anaphylaxis’s, Vaso -vagal reactions.

Vaso- vagal reaction (fainting)

A cosmetic practitioner will encounter most of these:


Panic attack

Breath holding episodes

Idiopathic (non-allergic)

These will respond to simple measures, such as laying the client down, putting their feet up, offering a sweet drink or dextrose tablet and lots of reassurance that they are and will be ok.

What is a Vaso-vagal reaction?

When the heart rate slows the blood pressure drops and the result is lack of blood to the brain. This causes fainting and confusion.

There can be uncertainty in diagnosing an anaphylactic reaction or a panic attack /vaso-vagal reaction, but the absence of a rash, breathing difficulties and swelling are useful distinguishing features, as is a slow pulse of vaso- vagal attack, compared to a rapid pulse of anaphylaxis’s.

A vaso-vagal episode is managed by lying a client down and raising their legs, this will restore the blood flow to the brain during an episode.

The main dangers of vaso-vagal syncope (or dizzy spells from vertigo) is the risk of danger from falling whilst unconscious.  However, the cosmetic practitioners main focus should be to be vigilant and recognise the factors that contribute to an episode, be aware of the early signs of a vaso-vagal reactions and to intervein before a full-blown attack occurs.

If a client actually falls/faints it is best practice to place them in the recovery position and call for help from a qualified first aider.