Skip to content Skip to navigation

Immediate Medical Help

What to Do for Medical Emergencies

What to Do for Urgent Conditions

Life-Threatening Conditions

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

  • 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, 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
  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.

Examples of Medical Emergencies

Examples of Urgent Conditions

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)