Emergency & Trauma

Depend on the experienced professionals at UNC Health for high-quality emergency care when you need it most. If you or a loved one has a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room (ER) if you or someone else is at risk of death or disability due to an illness, injury, or other symptoms, such as:

  • Deep cut or bleeding that won’t stop
  • Burns
  • Broken bone
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart attack symptoms, like chest pain
  • Head injury or signs of a concussion, such as confusion
  • Loss of consciousness (passing out)
  • Pregnancy problems, such as preterm labor, heavy vaginal bleeding, or severe abdominal pain
  • Seizure
  • Severe pain
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Stroke symptoms, including sudden weakness on one side of the body or slurred speech
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others
  • Vomiting that won’t stop

If your condition isn’t life-threatening, go to urgent care to save time and money.

What to Expect in the ER

Feel confident the ER team near you has experience giving prompt care to people of all ages.


When you arrive at the ER, a nurse will evaluate your health and check your vital signs to determine the severity of your condition.

To help the ER team learn more about your condition, you may receive lab or imaging tests.

Wait Time

Doctors in the ER treat the sickest patients first. Your wait time depends on your condition and the number of patients waiting.

Your Care

Trust the board-certified doctors to give you the care you need and to explain your care options. You might receive treatment in the ER, and then return home the same day. Or you may spend the night at the hospital to get more tests and treatments.

Call 911

Call 9-1-1 right away if you’re experiencing a medical emergency.