Medical and first aid emergencies

Follow these steps in a medical or first aid emergency.

  1. Assess the situation.
  2. Phone 111 and ask for an ambulance, stating if it is a serious or life-threatening situation. Then call Security on 966 (0800 373 7550 from a mobile phone).
  3. If you are trained in first aid, provide emergency assistance until the ambulance arrives.
  4. If you are not a first aider, summon help so effective first aid can be administered. 

Note: Every department has a first aid kit containing basic equipment that you can use. It will be in a common shared area (often the kitchen). Alternatively, ask a lecturer or your manager for help in locating one.

More information: First aider responsibilities and kits.

The University Health and Counselling Services located on each campus are not accident and emergency facilities and cannot provide this level of support.

First aid training and apps

At the University we can't cater for all possible medical first aid situations and we highly recommend that you are trained in first aid.

These apps are valuable tools for on-the-spot first aid treatment. Please download them before an emergency so they are on hand when needed.

First response: Remember DRS ABCD


Check for the safety of yourself, the patient and bystanders. 


Check for response, tap the patient, gently shake and shout.

Send for Help

Phone 111 and ask for an ambulance. Then call Security on 966 (0800 373 7550 from a mobile phone).


Open airway, tilt head back.


If not breathing normally, start CPR.


Start CPR, 30 chest compressions, two breaths.


If there is an AED (defibrillator) available and you have been trained in its use, attach it and follow the machine prompts.

Find out more: Defibrillators.

CPR instructions


  • Position hands in the centre of the chest.
  • Firmly push down five centimetres on the chest 30 times.
Emergency CPR 'pump' graphic demonstrating the first two steps of CPR.


  • Tilt head.
  • Lift chin.
  • Check breathing.
  • Give two breaths.
  • Continue with 30 pumps and two breaths until help arrives.
CPR demonstration showing the 'blow' process

Reluctant to give mouth to mouth resuscitation? Then continue with only the chest compressions.

Learn more about CPR

First Aid

Control of bleeding

  • Apply direct pressure to the wound with your hands (wear gloves if possible).
  • Elevate (raise) the limb.
  • Apply a pad and firm bandage.
  • If necessary, use clean rags or clothing.
  • Check circulation below the bandage.
  • If there is tingling, numbness or blueness, loosen the bandage.


  • Seek medical advice or call an ambulance (111).
  • Do not make the person vomit without advice from a medical professional.
  • Do not give fluids without advice from a medical professional.

Foreign bodies in the eyes

  • Wash the eye(s) with clean, cool water.
  • If the foreign body is stuck to the eyeball, do not attempt to remove it.
  • Place a covering over both eyes and seek medical attention.

Chemicals in the eyes

  • Wash the eyes with clean cool water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Wash from near the nose outwards, not forgetting to wash under the upper eyelid.
  • Seek medical attention.


  • Cool the burnt area with cool water for 10-15 minutes.
  • If necessary, cover the burn area with a clean dressing or plastic wrap.
  • Do not burst blisters, remove clothing that is stuck, or apply any creams.
  • Seek medical attention.

Chemical burns

  • Protect yourself from the substance.
  • Avoid skin contact.
  • Brush off dry chemicals.
  • Flush liquids from the skin with cool running water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Remove any contaminated clothing.
  • Treat for shock if the person is faint, pale or breathing irregularly.
  • Wrap area with a dry sterile dressing or clean cloth.
  • Protect from pressure and friction.
  • Seek medical attention.

First aid special considerations

Electric shock

Find out what to do in the event of an electric shock (or suspected electric shock if you are unsure).

Has someone come into contact with a live electrical source?

Don't touch them. If you touch the person while they are still in contact with the electrical current you will also get an electric shock/be electrocuted.

Have you received a belt/tingle from an electrical appliance or output?

  • If safe to do so, switch the power off (either at the source or at the main power switch). 
  • The longer a person is in contact with the power source, the more likely the shock will be fatal.
  • If it is not possible to turn the power off, use an insulated object such as a broom with a dry wooden handle to push the victim clear of the source of shock.  
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes if possible.
  • Never choose anything even slightly damp to help rescue the victim.
  • Phone for an ambulance immediately — dial 111.
  • Administer appropriate first aid such as CPR. If you have not had first aid training,
    the emergency operator may be able to give you directions until help arrives.

In all cases of electric shock, even if you feel fine, seek medical treatment and advice immediately. 

  • You may require to have an ECG to ensure electrical pathways within the heart have not been disrupted.
  • Visit your local doctor or after hours medical centre. 
  • Report to your manager immediately.

It's important to tell others and your manager about the dangerous electrical device and make sure it is not used until it is fixed. 

Accident and emergency centres

For all other injuries/medical emergencies that are not life-threatening, please go to an accident and emergency centre.

The University Health and Counselling Services located on each campus are not accident and emergency facilities and cannot provide this level of support.

If your injury was caused by a workplace accident, please fill out an incident report when you return to work.