Emergency Care | UC Davis Health

Emergency Care

Our teams of specialists treat patients with critical illnesses and injuries at a comprehensive academic hospital and level 1 trauma center. No other hospital in the region offers this level of care and expertise to adults and children.

Medically reviewed by David Barnes, M.D. on Sep. 05, 2023.

Two providers in black scrubs wheeling a patient down a hallway in a gurney bed.

Here When You Need Us Most

Nobody wants to need emergency care. But if you or a loved one has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury, you can rest assured that excellent care is nearby.

UC Davis Health is a leading provider of emergency and trauma care in Sacramento and the Northern California region. A highly skilled team of physicians, surgeons, and nurses is available 24/7/365 to treat people of all ages with critical healthcare needs. 

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Call 911 in an Emergency

If you or a loved one is having a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room (ER). Learn more about our emergency department

Our Difference

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Leaders in Trauma Care

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified UC Davis Medical Center as a level 1 Trauma Center. We are the only center in inland Northern California with this designation. In addition, we are one of only about 20 level 1 Trauma Centers in the nation with ACS verification for both adults and children.

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Specialized Care for Kids and Older Adults

We are proud to be the only academic Pediatric ED in the Sacramento region, and the only one integrated into a level 1 pediatric trauma center and comprehensive children’s hospital. Our ED is also accredited by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as a Geriatric Emergency Department.  

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Focus on Research and Prevention

UC Davis Health is an innovator in trauma and medical research. We lead studies investigating new treatments for trauma care, burns, fractures, neurological disorders, and pediatric illnesses. Furthermore, our Trauma Prevention and Outreach Program has helped to keep Sacramento County's preventable death rate at or below 1%—less than half the national average.  

Receive Expert Care in Our Level 1 Trauma Center

Our level 1 trauma center — the highest level of trauma care available — is one of the busiest in the nation. We cover 33 of California’s 58 counties and serve thousands of trauma patients annually.

We have the capabilities to care for any serious health condition, including:

  • Brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Complications related to chronic health conditions
  • Heart attack
  • Poisoning
  • Infections
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Stroke

And because our Emergency Department and Trauma Center are part of the nationally recognized UC Davis Health, you have access to all the services you need after you receive emergency treatment. Whether you require surgery, hospitalization, or rehabilitation, we have the resources and ability to provide ongoing care.   

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When Should I Go to the ER?

There are many illnesses and injuries that require medical attention. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you need the emergency room, an urgent care clinic, or a visit with your doctor. Knowing when and where to go for evaluation and treatment can not only help you get the most effective care—it can also save you time, money, and stress.

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room (ER) for:

  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Dislocated joints or broken bones
  • Fever over 103 degrees, or fever with a rash
  • Head injuries, loss of consciousness, fainting, or seizures
  • Large open cuts, uncontrolled bleeding, or burns with blisters
  • Weakness or numbness of your face, arm, leg, or on one side of your body
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Sudden confusion or problems speaking or seeing
  • Suicidal thoughts or other mental health crises

Learn more about when you should go to the ER

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What to Expect from Emergency Care

We’re committed to making exceptional emergency care seamless for our patients and their loved ones. From parking and visitor policies to admission and discharge, our team is here to help.

We offer:

  • 24/7 security
  • Dining at the Pavilion Café
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Interpreter services
  • On-site pharmacy services
  • Pastoral care

Get more information for patients and visitors

UC Davis Health is known throughout the region, the state, and the nation for our expertise in many specialty areas. Our depth and breadth of experience is especially important when you’re dealing with a critical health need.

Our specialties include:

Advanced Diagnostics

We have the most sophisticated imaging and laboratory technology available. Our experts quickly and accurately diagnose strokes, brain injuries, heart attacks, and other critical conditions. Emergency physicians work collaboratively with other expert to determine the right tests for your needs.

Explore our Department of Radiology
Surgical Excellence

We are home to some of the region’s top experts in orthopedic trauma, neurosurgery, heart surgery, gastroenterology, and anesthesiology. In the event you need an emergency procedure, we’re equipped to perform even the most complex surgeries 24/7—so you don’t need to be transferred to another facility.

Learn about our surgical services
Heart Attack and Stroke Care

UC Davis Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Heart Attack Center (PHAC) Certification. We have also been recognized by the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Award. These distinctions illustrate our commitment to using the latest guidelines to evaluate and treat heart attacks and strokes.

See our heart attack and stroke care designations
Multispecialty Team

Our vast network of providers and services means we can refer you to any type of care you need after treatment in our emergency department or trauma center. We’re nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report in many specialty areas and conditions, including cancer care, cardiology, neurology and orthopedics.

Discover our recognition in top specialty areas

Why Top-Tier Emergency Care Matters

When a life-threatening illness or injury occurs, don’t wait — get help right away. Every second counts in a critical situation. UC Davis Medical Center has the staff, expertise, and resources to handle any type of adult or pediatric medical emergency. Choosing our care in an emergency could be the most important decision you ever make.

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Awards and Recognitions
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USNWR Best Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best hospital in cancer, cardiology, heart & vascular surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, ENT, geriatrics, neurology & neurosurgery, obstetrics & gynecology, and pulmonology & lung surgery.

Learn more
US News & World Report best Children’s Hospital badge

Ranked among the nation’s best children’s hospitals

A U.S. News & World Report best children’s hospital in diabetes & endocrinology, nephrology, and orthopedics*. (*Together with Shriners Children’s)

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USNWR best regional hospital badge

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital

Ranked Sacramento’s #1 hospital by U.S. News, and high-performing in COPD, colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, hip fracture, hip replacement, kidney failure, leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma, lung cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery, pneumonia, prostate cancer surgery, stroke, TAVR, uterine cancer surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery, and orthopedics.

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Magnet designation badge

The nation’s highest nursing honor

UC Davis Medical Center has received Magnet® recognition, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence.

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Chime acute badge

“Most Wired” for acute care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

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Chime ambulatory badge

“Most Wired” for ambulatory care

UC Davis Health has been recognized as a level 10 out of 10 in the Digital Health “Most Wired” program from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The honor recognizes excellence in using technology to improve the delivery of care.

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NCI badge

World-class cancer care

One of ~52 U.S. cancer centers designated “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute.

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HEI LGBTQ badge

A leader in health care equality

For the 11th consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality.”

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