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Visitor Restrictions Update: Because flu & RSV cases are on the rise, starting November 16, children 12 and younger are restricted from visiting hospitals, certain inpatient facilities, and all emergency departments. Learn more.

Every second counts in a medical emergency. When you need immediate care, Atrium Health has 24-hour emergency services throughout the Charlotte region and parts of South Carolina. In addition to emergency departments that treat all ages, we have two pediatric emergency locations and the only free-standing psychiatric unit in the Charlotte region.

Keep reading to learn more about our emergency care services.

COVID-19 emergency warning signs

If you have any of these COVID-19 symptoms, get medical attention right away:

This list does not include all emergency warning signs of COVID-19. Please talk to a healthcare provider about any concerning symptoms.

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  3. New confusion
  4. Inability to wake or stay awake
  5. Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Emergency services

  • Stroke treatment

    The faster a stroke patient gets emergency care, the better the outcome. Our emergency medical team delivers the right therapies, right away, and is seamlessly connected to the region’s largest, most experienced network of stroke care.

  • Heart attack treatment

    If you have any heart attack symptoms, it’s important to get immediate medical attention. Atrium Health provides the highest level of heart attack care quickly – we’re more than 15 minutes faster than the national average at treating heart attacks.

  • Children’s emergency care

    Atrium Health emergency rooms treat children of all ages, and we also have two pediatric emergency care locations . They're specially designed for children and offer emergency care in a kid-focused setting.

  • Sexual assault services

    After experiencing sexual assault, it’s important to seek medical treatment even if you don’t have visible signs of physical injury. Our emergency care providers are here to help you recover physically as well as emotionally.

  • Behavioral health care

    When a mental health crisis becomes life-threatening, don’t wait to get the care you need. Atrium Health offers 24-hour behavioral health services and has the only free-standing, dedicated psychiatric unit in the Charlotte region.

  • Critical care transport

    Atrium Health’s MedCenter Air delivers fast, reliable transport in a medical emergency. Our fleet includes jets, planes, helicopters and ambulances, offering support for EMS responders throughout the region.

See current emergency room wait times near you.

Children’s emergency care

Atrium Health emergency departments treat all ages, but we also have Atrium Health Levine Children’s emergency rooms in Charlotte, NC, and Huntersville, NC.

Our pediatric emergency rooms are designed around kids. With kid-friendly waiting areas, child-sized equipment and providers trained in pediatrics, we help children feel safe and comfortable throughout their visit.

But no matter which Atrium Health emergency department you visit, your child gets seamless connection to care across Atrium Health Levine Children’s if additional treatment is needed. This includes nationally recognized specialty care and the Charlotte region’s only Best Children’s Hospital, awarded by U.S. News & World Report.

Psychiatric emergency care

If you’re experiencing a life-threatening mental health crisis, seek emergency care right away. Atrium Health has the Charlotte region’s only free-standing, dedicated psychiatric unit. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and treats children, adolescents and adults.

Learn more about our behavioral health care services.

Frequently asked questions

Go to an emergency room if you have a severe or life-threatening illness or injury. Conditions that require emergency care include:

  • Chest pain and other heart attack symptoms
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Deep cuts or bleeding that won't stop
  • Severe burns
  • Loss of consciousness, fainting or new confusion
  • Large bone fractures
  • Head injury or concussion
  • Seizures
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

Emergency room medical conditions happen when you least expect them. Fortunately, there’s not much you need to bring with you. To help your visit go as efficiently as possible, have identification and health insurance cards on hand, and be prepared to give as many details about your symptoms as you can.

You also might want to bring someone with you for support and to help you communicate if needed. Just be sure to check our latest visitor policies before you arrive.

Although details about your medical history and allergies are in your electronic health record, you can share any relevant information with your emergency care team.

A triage nurse evaluates each patient’s condition. Patients are then seen in order by the severity of their symptoms, with the sickest or most severely injured patients seen first.

Yes. As part of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), Atrium Health will always provide stabilization and treatment in a medical emergency, regardless of your insurance status or ability to pay. These services include medical screening, necessary stabilizing treatment, care for labor and delivery, and appropriate transfer to another facility.

Learn more about Atrium Health’s financial assistance services.

It depends on your symptoms. If you’re seeking emergency care due to severe cold and flu symptoms, you might be tested for COVID-19 to help determine the cause.

Both an urgent care and emergency room provide walk-in care. The difference is urgent cares treat patients with minor illnesses and injuries, while emergency rooms treat patients with severe or life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Learn more about the conditions treated at each location.

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