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First aid tips

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

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 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:

  • Plasters

  • Pain reliever medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (including Pamol if you have children)

  • Antiseptic wipes or cream

  • Crepe bandages

  • Disposable gloves

  • Saline solution

  • 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.

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