There’s a fainting game that’s harmful to your body and puts you at risk of death.
Have you heard of the pastime for thousands of young teens across North America? It’s a game that gives a quick high…but it can kill. It’s known to many as “the pass-out game,” “the fainting game,” “the tingling game,” “the blackout game,” and (perhaps the most suitable name) “suffocation roulette.”
If you do have young friends or family who take turns making each other faint, make sure they know they’re gambling with their lives. When teens apply pressure around a friend’s neck to make them faint, they’re constricting the windpipe and cutting off the brain’s supply of oxygen. After fainting, the pressure around the neck is released, and oxygen rushes back to the brain, resulting in a brief, euphoric high. Those playing may think it’s fun, but it’s deadly. Some even play the fainting game regularly, often doing it repeatedly for hours at a time, and may become addicted to the high, an addiction that is extremely dangerous.
“Addicted teens are using bicycle chains to make themselves faint.”
You may have heard a classmate or acquaintance argue that the fainting game is a safe alternative to taking drugs, but they’re wrong. The addiction side effects and risk of death are still there. In fact, some teens are so addicted to the high, they play the game by themselves, using their hands, belts, and even bicycle chains to make themselves faint. Regrettably, it’s easy to induce fainting. However, it’s not so easy to revive yourself or to restore lost oxygen to your brain. If you suspect a friend is involved, make sure they’re aware of this problem.
The technical term for a lack of oxygen supply to the brain is cerebral hypoxia. Since brain cells are so sensitive to oxygen deprivation, they start dying less than five minutes after their oxygen supply is cut off. In mild cases, hypoxia causes inattentiveness, poor judgment and reduced motor coordination. But, more often than not, reduced oxygen to the brain causes severe brain damage, comas, and can even result in death.
What your friends may consider “just a game” has extremely dangerous side effects. Just ask the parents and friends of the many teens who have died from playing. If you have friends who have played this game and who want to play again, ask them if the rush they get for a few seconds is really worth their lives.
Do you think anyone you know is involved in this deadly game? Watch for these signs:
• Red or bloodshot eyes
• Marks around the neck where excessive
pressure has been applied
• Complaints of headaches or dizziness
What should you do if someone doesn’t wake up?
• Send for help or call 911 immediately. (The sooner medical attention is given and the brain’s oxygen supply is restored, the lower the chance of severe brain damage or death.)
• Administer CPR. (Lay the unconscious person on the floor, lift the chin to clear the
airway, plug the nose, take a deep breath, and breathe into the victim’s mouth. Check for a pulse—often chest compressions are necessary if they haven’t been breathing for some time.) For step-by-step CPR, visit www.firstaidweb.com