Today is our last post for a while about calling for help in an emergency. We often hear about unnecessary calls made to the emergency services. By contrast, people delay making a call because they feel unsure whether the condition of the person they are with warrants an ambulance. In some cases, these decisions can result in unfortunate outcomes. It is a delicate balance in some cases. Our advice, if you feel help is needed, do not hesitate to make the call.
A medical emergency includes chest pain or tightness, difficulty breathing, or the person has stopped breathing. It also includes choking, severe bleeding or bleeding that will not stop, sudden weakness or difficulty talking, fainting or unconsciousness.
There are other alternatives to calling 111 when it is NOT a medical emergency. In the first instance, if you or someone you are with is unwell, advice, information and support is available through your doctor by contacting the surgery 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- you don’t have a family doctor
- you are feeling unwell, but not sure if you need to see a doctor
- for advice about what is happening for you and the next steps
- you want some advice about a family member or a friend who is sick (if you are with them)
You can feel confident about calling the Healthline Team.
- These guys are specialists in assessing and advising over the phone.
- It is possible to arrange to talk with you in your language – when your call is answered, say you’d like an interpreter and the language you would like to speak in.
- Also, they can engage with the NZ Relay Services and support you if you are Deaf, hearing impaired, deafblind or speech impaired.
- Phone calls are free – including from a mobile phone.
- You can call anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Healthline is staffed by an experienced team that includes registered nurses, paramedics and health advisors, who can provide you with health information and advice on care.