Emergency Care

Emergency Care in New Orleans

You can never predict when an accident will occur, but you can trust the emergency experts at University Medical Center New Orleans to be prepared to care for you when they do. Our Emergency Department doctors, nurses, and staff have dedicated their lives to saving yours—24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for those with urgent emergency medical conditions such as injuries, illnesses, and mental health emergencies.

Should you visit the emergency room?

It can be hard to know when an accident is serious enough to warrant a visit to the Emergency Room versus your physician. We’re here to help you make that call.

You should visit the Emergency Room if you or someone you know is suffering from:

  • Chest pain
  • Large burns
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe head injury
  • Knife or gunshot wounds
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Persistent vomiting and diarrhea
  • Sudden change in vision
  • Sudden weakness
  • Spinal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Large open wounds
  • Abdominal pain
  • Problems with pregnancy
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Any concern that an illness or injury may be life threatening

When to call 911

Call 911 in a medical emergency such as if someone is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, bleeding uncontrollably, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

When calling, remember to stay calm and be prepared to give them the information they need, including:

  • Address or location of emergency
  • Brief description of emergency
  • Number of people sick or injured
  • A call-back number

How to know if you're having a heart attack

If you are experiencing one or more of the following, you may be having a heart attack and need to call 9-1-1.

Symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Chest Pain – Pain or discomfort in center of chest. Can feel like pressure, squeezing, or fullness
  • Pain in other Body Areas – Pain in one or both arms, the jaw, back or stomach
  • Shortness of Breath – With or without chest pain
  • Other signs – May include breaking out in cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Stroke warning signs (Act FAST)

F – Face drooping. One side of face droops or is numb. Ask person to smile.

A – Arm weakness. One arm weak or numb.

S – Speech difficulty. Is speech hard to understand or is person unable to speak?

T – Time to call 911. If person has any of these symptoms, even if they go away, it is time to call 911.

Cardiac arrest warning signs

  • Sudden Loss of Responsiveness – Person does not respond to tapping on shoulders
  • No Normal Breathing – Person does not take a normal breath if you tilt their head up and check for at least 5 seconds

Routine medical needs

Please make a clinic appointment if you have a routine medical need. Call University Medical Center Patient Access at 504.702.5700.

Defining Quality

  • Joint Commission National Quality Approval Award
    The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.
  • American College of Surgeons: Verified Trauma Center
    The Norman E. McSwain, Jr, MD, Spirit of Charity Trauma Center only verified Level 1 Trauma Center in South Louisiana.
  • City Business - Best Places to Work
    The Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Center (CPHC) at University Medical Center New Orleans was awarded top-tier accreditation from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA).
  • PHA Center of Comprehensive Care Award
    University Medical Center New Orleans is an Advanced Primary Stroke Center with a full stroke team on call 24/7 to immediately care for patients with stroke symptoms.
  • American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Primary Stroke Center
  • Commission on Cancer Accedited Program logo
    The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
  • Commission on Cancer Accedited Program logo
    University Medical Center has been designated an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (ISDA).