Knowing how to do basic first aid, and when to call for an ambulance, is life-saving knowledge.
In an emergency
St John urges people to dial 111 and ask for an ambulance when there is a medical emergency. So what constitutes an emergency?
When someone has chest pain or tightness (can also be felt in arm, jaw, upper abdomen)
A person has difficulty breathing
When someone is choking
A person faints or is unconscious
Someone is suffering severe pain
When there is severe bleeding or bleeding that won't stop
First aid techniques
There are also many first aid techniques you should know. Some help with everyday situations like a minor burn, others will help save someone’s life before an ambulance arrives.
St John offers first aid courses that can help you gain knowledge. They also have a free CPR app on offer. See http://www.stjohn.org.nz for more details.
5 first aid techniques you should know about:
How to resuscitate someone (get them breathing again)
How to stop bleeding
How to treat a burn
What to do if someone is choking
Steps to take if someone has an allergic reaction
First aid kit
A well-stocked first aid kit also goes a long way to help in minor and major emergencies. You should have one in your home, car and boat.
St John and other suppliers sell a range of first aid kits. Key items to have in your first aid kit include:
Pain reliever medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (including Pamol if you have children)
Antiseptic wipes or cream
A thermal blanket
Free health advice is available from registered nurses 24/7 through Healthline 0800 611 116. You should always ring 111 in an emergency.