Getting Immediate Help

What to do for
Medical Emergencies

What to do for
Urgent Conditions

What to do for
Routine Problems

Life-Threatening Conditions

In the event of serious injury or a clear threat to life, obtain paramedic or ambulance assistance right away..

  • Call 9-911 on campus, or use a blue emergency phone
  • Call 911 off campus, or from your cellular phone
  • Be prepared to say exactly where you are, and what is wrong

You will be taken to the nearest hospital Emergency Department. The Stanford University Medical Center Emergency Department is the nearest one on campus.
Directions and a map

Where to go

Stanford University Hospital Emergency Department is located near the intersection of Campus Drive and Quarry Road. Call (650) 723-5111. Directions and a map.


  • Go to Medical Services when it is open. Call (650) 498-2336, extension 1 in advance to let us know you're coming.
  • When Medical Services is closed, go to
  1. Stanford University Medical Center Emergency Department open 24 hours a day

  2. Palo Alto Urgent Care Center has extended hours (Check their website for hours and call to make sure they accept your insurance. You will need to present your insurance card at the time of service.)
  • Remember, Vaden does not cover visits to the Emergency Department or the Palo Alto Urgent Care Center; these are billed to your insurance provider.

    If you are not sure about whether you should go to the Emergency Department, call the Medical Services advice nurse or the on-call physician at (650) 498-2336, extension 1.

When you arrive

  • As soon as you arrive, say why you think it's urgent.
  • State the main problem first.
  • Report any past experience with the problem.
  • Bring any medications you have taken for the problem.

Make an appointment to be seen at Medical Services by calling (650) 498-2336, extension 1.


Examples of
Medical Emergencies

Examples of
Urgent Conditions

Examples of
Routine Problems

Examples of life-threatening conditions include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing for any reason
  • Major injury (e.g., open chest wound with trouble breathing; spinal or neck injury with loss of sensation or motion; obvious fracture, especially with visible bone)
  • Severe allergic reaction with throat swelling
  • Severe asthma
  • Unconsciousness or unresponsiveness (e.g., drug or alcohol overdose)

Although the examples listed below may not be life threatening, get a medical evaluation as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Significant pain (e.g. in the chest, abdomen, head, neck or ear, especially with fever)
  • Asthma (which is not responding to usual medication)
  • Urinary infection (especially with fever or back pain)
  • Possible fracture or dislocation
  • Any injury with significant pain or swelling
  • Laceration (a cut requiring stitches)
  • Bee sting reaction (e.g., with hives or swelling of your whole arm or leg)

Examples of nonurgent symptoms include the following:

  • Sprains
  • Bruises/abrasions (scrapes)
  • Minor burns
  • Colds and sore throats
  • Allergies
  • Annual women’s health exam

See also: