How to Control a Fall

If you suspect someone is about to collapse, perhaps because they are feeling faint, often the best way to help is not to keep them standing up, but to help them fall safely and in a controlled manner, so as to lessen or prevent any injury caused by the fall itself. Here is how.


  1. 1
    Put your arms around the person.
    Put your arms around the person.
    Get behind the person if you can.
  2. 2
    Once you've caught the person, release your hold slightly. Keep your arms around them, but do not try to hold them up.
  3. 3
    Let the person fall back against you.
    Let them fall back against you.
    Take a stable stance with your knees slightly bent and one foot in front of the other. Take the weight of the person against your body, but do not attempt to hold them up.
  4. Allow the person to slide to the floor.
    Allow the person to slide to the floor. Remain standing, but allow the person to slide to the floor. If you can, guide the fall away from hard objects (tables, edges of counters) or other obstructions that could injure the person on the way down. Don't try to hold on or hold the person up.
  5. 5
    Protect the head.
    Support and protect the head.
    Do what you can to keep the person's head from hitting anything, either on the way down or when they are on the floor.
  6. Keep the person comfortable.
    Keep the person comfortable. Kneel down next to or behind the person, and do what you can to keep the person calm and comfortable. A pillow or rolled-up shirt will help. If the person is disoriented, discourage them from standing up.
  7. 7
    Call for help.
    Call for help.
    Call emergency services immediately, unless you are certain the person is in no danger. If someone has fallen and you're not sure why, don't hesitate to call and explain the situation, anyway.
  8. 8
    Stay with the person. Tell emergency responders as much as you can about what happened. Mention that you controlled the fall, and say whether you think any injury might have resulted from the fall.
  9. 9
    Give first aid or CPR if it is necessary and appropriate to do so. At the very least, check that the person is breathing and take appropriate steps to keep their airway clear.
    • If you think someone has vomited or may vomit as a result of whatever made them fall, ease them onto their side, or, if you need to, use your fingers to clear their airway.


  • Do not attempt to move a person who may be injured unless leaving them in place will result in greater danger.
  • Things like falls are not planned. If things don't go exactly according to this guide, do what you can. For instance, if you arrive too late to get behind the person, support and control whatever part of the fall you can manage safely, and protect the person's head on the way down.
  • A person who just fell may be disoriented, especially if they lost consciousness, so comfort them, and discourage them from standing up right away.
  • If someone is feeling dizzy or faint but hasn't fallen yet, stand behind them, guide them by the shoulders in case you need to control a fall and help them to sit or lie down. It is better to prevent the fall altogether if you can.
  • If you think someone is having a seizure, do not place anything in their mouth. Do not restrain the convulsions, unless there is an immediate danger of injury. Remember that a person who is having a seizure cannot control themselves and may not remember having the seizure later. [1]

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