Emergency Departments

When every minute counts, rely on UC San Diego Health for 24/7 emergency medical care.

Using the latest technology and effective treatments, we’re here for you when you need us. We’ll stabilize your symptoms and treat your condition efficiently.

Both our hospitals, in Hillcrest and La Jolla, have emergency medicine physicians who are trained in one or more specialties and a full-time attending physician who is present 24 hours a day. We also have experienced nurses and other support staff, including those specializing in senior care. Our Hillcrest ER has a Level 1 Trauma Care Center for critical or life-threatening injuries.

Emergency Services

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

Hillcrest and La Jolla Emergency Locations are Open 24 Hours

Patient Experience Rating

This is a summary of each location’s ratings within Emergency Services.

When to go to the Emergency Room

If you or a family member has an emergency or urgent health situation that needs prompt care, where do you go: ER, Urgent Care or Express Care? Learn the differences between these facilities.

Emergency services: Our emergency rooms provide advanced care for people with major, life-threatening injuries or severe health conditions that require immediate attention. This includes broken bones, heart attacks, seizures, severe burns, strokes, poisoning, traumatic injuries and mental health emergencies. Our ERs are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for individuals of all ages.

Express or Urgent care: If you have urgent health concerns that are not life-threatening or if you need treatment for relatively minor conditions, our urgent care or Express Care clinics are convenient alternatives to the emergency room. Compared to an ER visit, our same-day care options are less costly and have shorter wait times. You can walk in or save your spot online. Learn more about where you can go, based on your age, symptoms and condition.

Symptoms and Conditions Treated in Patients of All Ages

  • Chest pain
  • Compound fracture
  • Deep wound that needs stitches
  • Disorientation and inability to speak
  • Gunshot or knife wound
  • High fever (including in newborn baby)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Paralysis
  • Persistent bleeding
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid testicular inflammation and pain
  • Seizure
  • Severe burn
  • Severe heart palpitations
  • Severe injuries, including those to the head or eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden and severe head pain
  • Vision loss

Traumatic Injuries

Trauma injuries that are life-threatening, such as a motor vehicle collision or gunshot wound, are treated in our Level 1 Trauma Center in Hillcrest.

Care for Older Adults

For many older adults, a trip to the emergency room can be daunting. That is why our geriatric ERs in Hillcrest and La Jolla offer specialized care with expert teams to better serve the specific needs of seniors.

From admission to discharge and beyond, we provide a superior quality of emergency care to help reduce hospital visits and readmissions for patients ages 65 and up.

Paying for Emergency Care

All ER patients receive a physical examination by a doctor prior to any contact with the patient's insurer or primary care physician. This ensures you will receive the most appropriate care regardless of your ability to pay or the decision of your health plan concerning payments.

You may receive separate bills for different parts of your emergency room visit. If you have questions, please visit Insurance & Billing or call:

  • For bills from UC San Diego Emergency Physician's Group, call 866-679-7477.
  • For bills from UC San Diego Health, call 855-827-3633.

Other Same-Day Care Options

If you need same-day care for a non-emergency illness or injury and can't see your primary care provider, walk into an Express Care or Urgent Care clinic or save your spot online.