In case of poisoning:

Please contact your local Poison Information Service immediately:

New Zealand: 0800 POISON (0800 764 766)
Find other centres here

Or seek medical advice from another health professional

Hints and Tips for Calling a Poison Centre

First - Remain calm. Not all medicines and household chemicals are poisonous or cause symptoms. If the person is unconscious or have difficulty breathing, ring 111; In all other poisoning situations call the National Poisons Centre on 0800 POISON. If a child is upset or crying, have someone else take care of them so you can focus on the phone call.

When you call, you will speak to a poison information officer, who will ask you some questions before they can give you advice. Bring the product container to the phone, so you can provide any information asked by the poison information officer.

These questions might include:

  • If an exposure has occurred, and if so, was the poison swallowed, splashed in the eye or on the skin
  • When the exposure happened
  • The name and concentration of the substance involved (if known) (from the container label)
  • The amount of substance involved (e.g., a mouthful, or the number of tablets swallowed or even the approximate amount left in the bottle)
  • The age and weight of the patient
  • Any signs or symptoms that they show, or how they feel
  • Any first aid that has already been carried out

Don't be afraid to mention anything you think maybe important, such as existing health conditions or problems, or any mitigating factors, such as if you live in a remote location, away from medical care.

Once they have this information, the Poisons Information Officer will give you advice as to what kind of first aid is needed and whether or not the patient needs to see a doctor. The Poison information officer will then ask for your name, location and phone number, in case they need to contact you with any further information.

University of Otago NZ National Poisons Centre

All information on this site is subject to a disclaimer.