Emergency & Trauma Care

An accident or injury can happen at any time — and can become a medical emergency.

At UC San Diego Health, we are always prepared to help you and your family in your time of need. Get lifesaving, effective trauma and acute care 24 hours a day.

Count on our experienced professionals to treat you and your family with respect and compassion. We are committed to providing high-quality care to help you in your journey to recovery.

24/7 Emergency Services

If you're experiencing a major, life-threatening injury or severe health condition, you can go to our emergency departments in three locations in San Diego County.

Your emergency medicine team has experience treating the highest-risk injuries, quickly assessing your condition and providing timely, expert surgical care. We're always prepared 24/7 to care for you and your loved ones.

Emergency Services

Call 911 if you have a life-threatening injury or illness. Or go to the nearest ER for 24/7 emergency help.

Trauma Care

UC San Diego Medical Center, our Hillcrest hospital, has a Level 1 Trauma Center, which provides comprehensive care for injuries for patients with life-threatening injuries.

Our highly specialized surgeons and other trained health professionals use advanced equipment to treat critical injuries resulting from drowning, falls, fires, gunshot wounds, serious car crashes, violence and other traumatic incidents.

Learn About Our Level 1 Trauma Center

Acute Care Surgery

Acute care surgeons, also known as intensivists, have specialty training in critical care medicine. You can expect the best outcome from UC San Diego Health emergency surgeons who are dedicated to delivering the highest level of care to you and your family.

Rely on UC San Diego Health for emergency surgical procedures, like:

  • Abdominal surgery, such as gallbladder or appendix removal
  • Hernia repair to treat a sudden tear or stretching of muscle tissue
  • Intestinal obstruction repair to remove a blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine (colon)
  • Treatment of life-threatening surgical infections

Your experienced care team can treat the highest-risk injuries, quickly assess your condition and provide timely, expert surgical care. This may take place in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), which manages the complex care you need through coordinated, multispecialty medical teams.

We'll provide coordinated services every step of the way, including your transition home and follow-up care.

Injury Prevention Programs

Traumatic injuries can lead to disability or death. But many injuries can be prevented or avoided with a few safety precautions.

Our Trauma Prevention and Outreach Program is dedicated to preventing and reducing injuries through education, research, outreach and the strength of community partnerships. Our injury prevention programs include fall prevention, driver and pedestrian safety, gun safety and burn prevention.

Learn to Prevent Traumatic Injuries

Poison Control

Poisoning can cause short-term problems as well as permanent, even life-threatening complications. If you're exposed to poisonous, hazardous or toxic substances, sometimes it can be treated at home by following directions from a poison control center. At other times, you may need emergency medical care.

The California Poison Control System (CPCS) is the statewide provider of immediate, free and expert treatment advice and assistance over the telephone. Its San Diego division is housed at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

Our trained and experienced health care professionals can provide emergency information on:

  • Animal, insect, snake and spider bites
  • Attempted suicides or drug overdoses
  • Drug reactions
  • Eye or skin irritation from toxic substances
  • Food or mushroom poisoning
  • Inhalation of noxious fumes or vapors
  • Pet poisoning exposures
  • Swallowing poison

Toxicology / Poison Control — Get 24/7 Help

  • Dial 911 for emergencies.
  • Or call 800-222-1222, California Poison Control Center’s free hotline.

Emergency Locations are Open 24 Hours