University Medical Center exterior building
University Medical Center New Orleans
Emergency Department

Ambulance Icon

Emergency Services in New Orleans

World-class emergency medical care, close to home.

Less waiting where it matters most

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 staffhave 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 department?

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 Department 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:

Computer Icon Address or location
of emergency
Pediatric ER Icon Brief description
of emergency
Specialists Icon Number of people
sick or injured
Specialists Icon A call-back
number

What to Expect

What is our triage process?

In order to ensure patients with the greatest need receive care as quickly as possible, all Emergency Service patients undergo an initial “triage” evaluation.

During this evaluation, the patient’s need for immediate medical care is assessed so that we can promptly attend to the sickest patients. This also helps us keep wait times as short as possible.

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

What should I bring with me to the ER?

Do not waste any time getting to the hospital when you have a true medical emergency, but if there is time to prepare before your arrival, bringing the following items can be helpful:

  • A photo ID
  • Health insurance card
  • List of prescription medications and dosages the patient currently takes
  • List of medication allergies
  • Any relevant medical records you have on hand
  • Contact information for your regular care providers
Go to the Emergency Room Infographic

What can I expect inside the ER?

Patients who visit the emergency department undergo a process of initial evaluation known as "triage." This means that each patient is evaluated by a nurse and/or doctor to determine the level of medical emergency they are experiencing. This is necessary to rapidly identify the sickest patients and provide them with prompt care. It also helps us keep every patient's wait time as short as possible, while providing the appropriate level of care to all patients.

Our attending doctors are board-certified in Emergency Medicine. Emergency Medicine doctors are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of illnesses and injuries.

A nurse will be involved in all aspects of your care. Other team members may include lab technicians, phlebotomist, respiratory therapists, social workers and other hospital staff. We work as a team because this model of care helps us to provide patients the best possible treatment.

Each team member will introduce themselves and explain their role in your care.

Your doctor(s) will meet with you to conduct an exam and discuss your symptoms, including your level of pain. Any treatments or required tests will be discussed with you. If necessary, your nurse(s) will:

  • Administer medications
  • Draw blood for lab tests
  • Collect urine
  • Insert an intravenous (IV) catheter

Please tell your care provider if you are in pain so that we may assist you.

We encourage you to ask questions about your care.

Tests:

If tests are required, we have the resources to conduct almost all of these within our medical center. Please plan on waiting for your results. The following time frames are provided as estimates only:

  • Most blood-based lab tests require approximately 60-90 minutes for results reporting
  • X-rays, ultrasound exams, and computed tomography (CT) scan studies vary from 15 minutes to several hours. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or special radiology studies may require several hours.
  • Urine collection and analysis is typically completed within half an hour

What should I do after my ER visit?

When your doctor determines that you are ready to be discharged from the Emergency Department, you will meet with your nurse to review your diagnosis, discuss any prescribed medications and follow-up care instructions. You will be given paperwork about your follow-up care that should be kept for reference.

Prescriptions can be faxed or electronically provided to your pharmacy so that medications are ready for pick-up when you arrive at the pharmacy. Some medications require a special prescription form, which will be handed to you by the nurse. During hours when most pharmacies are closed, we will give you the first dose(s) of medication in the Emergency Department, so you don't have to locate a 24 hour pharmacy in the middle of the night.

Proper follow-up care is very important. We will send information to your primary care doctor about your visit. If a physician referral is needed, we will provide you with a list of physicians to choose from.

After your discharge:

If your symptoms worsen or do not improve, return to our Emergency Room or contact your primary care doctor.

Remember to take all medications as prescribed.

Arrival and Parking

*Written directions and parking instructions here.

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*If you are having a medical emergency, go straight to the emergency room or call 911