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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Breathing difficulties

Being short of breath is very frightening. It can range from feeling puffed, to being unable to take a deep breath, gasping for air, or feeling like you aren't getting enough oxygen.

How to help someone who's having difficulty breathing


If their medication doesn't seem to be working and they're not getting better, phone 111 for an ambulance.

If someone is have having difficulty because of one of these problems, follow the instructions on the appropriate page:

If the person becomes unconscious, follow the instructions on the appropriate page:

What happens next?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Pulmonary embolism

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created December 2016.


Page reference: 284408

Review key: HIFAD-141030