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[L. collapsus, fallen into ruin]

1. A sudden exhaustion, prostration, or weakness due to decreased circulation of the blood.

Common symptoms include alterations in mental status, an inability to stand without dizziness, and/or severe generalized weakness. Physical findings include pallor, cold clammy skin, gooseflesh, a thin or thready pulse, an increased respiratory rate, tachycardia, and hypotension.

A patent airway is maintained, the patient's head is lowered, and the lower extremities are elevated slightly in the Trendelenburg position to enhance venous return to the heart. Vital signs and level of consciousness are assessed for signs of shock or aspiration of vomitus. High-concentration oxygen by a nonrebreather mask should be administered and oxygen saturation and ventilation evaluated. The patient should be kept warm but not hot. The patient's electrocardiogram should be monitored for arrhythmias, and an IV line should be established. If the patient is hypotensive, IV fluids should be given. The health care provider remains with the patient, briefly and calmly orienting him or her to surroundings and explaining procedures to provide reassurance of appropriate care.

2. An abnormal retraction of the walls of an organ.

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