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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Emergency medical help


Phone 111 and ask for an ambulance if someone has stopped breathing or collapsed.

Calling 111 for an ambulance has information about calling 111 in a medical emergency and what happens when you call.

After calling 111, follow the advice on the pages listed below to help care for the person until the ambulance arrives.

Medical emergencies

A medical emergency is when there's a sudden onset of a medical condition. This list of medical conditions gives you first aid advice and tells you when to call 111.

Accidents such as car crashes where someone is badly injured are also medical emergencies.

If you have a minor injury or illness or a long-term condition, see your GP. See After-hours medical care to find out what you should do if you need health advice or health care after hours.

Mental health emergencies

If you need mental health support urgently or if you're worried about the mental health of a friend or family member but you don't think anyone's safety is immediately threatened, call your local mental health crisis team on 0800‑277‑997.

You can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are several helplines you can call if you need to talk to someone.

Also see What can I do if I am thinking about suicide? or What to do if you think someone close to you may be suicidal.


In case of medicine or chemical poisoning, contact the Poison Information Service immediately: 0800‑POISON (0800‑764‑766) or seek medical advice from another health professional.

Phone 111 for an ambulance if:

Don't try to make the person vomit or give them food or liquid until you have been given advice. See Chemical poisoning for more advice.

On the next page: Calling 111 for an ambulance

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2019.

Page reference: 351587

Review key: HIEMG-274747