In an emergency
Quickly find the best services for your situation.
Immediate action for physical health, mental health, overdose
Call 9-1-1 if a person stops breathing, collapses, or has a seizure.
Call a poison expert 24/7 for advice on if you should call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department.
Poison Control (1-800-567-8911) can also provide information on:
- If there’s been a poisoning and the person has NOT stopped breathing, collapsed, or had a seizure (if the victim DOES stop breathing, collapses, or has a seizure, call 911 right away)
- If you’re concerned about a possible poisoning
- To ask a poison prevention question
- To ask for poison prevention materials
Do I need emergency care?
Call 9-1-1 or visit St. Paul’s Hospital or Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (or your nearest hospital emergency department) if you have:
- Discomfort or tightness in the chest
- More than usual shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Prolonged and persistent or sudden onset headache
- An injury that may require stitches or may involve a broken bone
Or if you are experiencing:
- A major crisis and, as a result, feel helpless, hopeless and have nowhere to turn
- Severe withdrawal from drugs or alcohol
Or any of the following:
- Severe allergic reaction
- Swelling of the tongue, lips or throat
- Severe pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Weakness or loss of sensation
- Severe vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- Blood or black colour in the stool
Use good judgement in deciding when to use emergency medical services. If you are not certain, call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department.
PHC's Emergency Department locations
St. Paul's HospitalOpen CA Vancouver BC V6Z 1Y6 1081 Burrard Street
Estimated wait timeGet emergency wait times
Parking is available at the hospital and on the nearby streets. There is also parking at the Century Plaza hotel next door, or at the Sheraton Wall Centre. Please note: due to limited parking at the hospital, you may need to wait for a parking space, or park nearby at a different lot.
The emergency and main entrances are on Burrard Street, between Comox Street and Davie. The parkade entrance is also available on Burrard Street.
Mount Saint Joseph HospitalOpen CA Vancouver BC V5T 3N4 3080 Prince Edward Street
Estimated wait timeGet emergency wait times
- Sunday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Monday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Tuesday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Wednesday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Thursday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Friday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Parking is available at the hospital and on the nearby streets.
The Emergency/Surgical Day Care main entrance is located off Prince Edward Street.
Note about ED Wait Times: This is an average wait time and may change based on the number and severity of other patients attending the ED. So please note that this is an estimated time and not a guarantee.
All local Emergency Departments
Not an emergency or not sure?
8-1-1 is a free phone service in British Columbia that you can call to get health information and advice. It's run by HealthLink BC, which is a part if the BC Ministry of Health. When you dial 8-1-1, you'll talk to someone who can guide you to find the right health information and services and also help you decide if you need to go to the Emergency Department.
Non-emergency health information for people living in B.C.: 8-1-1
TTY relay to 8-1-1 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing:
Are you Indigenous? Do you want additional support?
Providence Health Care commits to building a better relationship with Indigenous Peoples. One of our Indigenous Wellness Liaisons (IWL) works in the Emergency Department 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Talk to your provider if you would like to be connected with an IWL as part of your care.
In addition, staff in our Emergency Department are undertaking various forms of Indigenous cultural safety education as part of their ongoing professional development.
PHC is also working to create more culturally safe and welcoming physical spaces in the department. For more information, see Indigenous Wellness Services.
Mental health crisis
Emergency services are available to anyone in a mental health crisis.
What is a mental health crisis?
- Intense anxiety or depression
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Threatening violence
- Distorted thinking
When to go to the Emergency Department?
Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you love requires immediate medical attention for injuries, or the person is at risk of seriously harming themselves or others.
Crisis Centre of BC
If you’re uncertain about what to do, the Crisis Centre of BC helpline can offer guidance or go to their website. Anywhere in BC call 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Crisis lines for Indigenous Peoples
A culturally safe crisis line available 24/7 to Indigenous people in B.C. KUU-US crisis response personnel are certified and trained in Indigenous cultural safety and bring an understanding of First Nations history and trauma from the residential schools to their roles.
An independent, national, toll-free call line to provide support for anyone who requires assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Other options for mental health issues
Any person at risk of injuring themselves or others should go to the closest Emergency Department immediately. But if you are having a mental health problem but it’s not a crisis situation, you can use these services:
Call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest Emergency Department if you or a loved one is having a medical emergency linked to substance use. We are judgement-free and offer safe, compassionate care.
Substance use crisis
Know the signs of opioid overdose
Call 9-1-1 if these signs are present:
- Not responding: doesn't move or can’t be woken
- Slow or not breathing: a breath every 5 seconds is normal
- Making sounds: choking, gurgling sounds or snoring
- Blue lips and nails
- Cold or clammy skin
- Tiny pupils
Follow the Response SAVE ME Steps
Stimulate. Check if the person is responsive, can you wake them up? If they are unresponsive, call 911. The sooner you call, the better the chance of recovery.
Airway. Make sure there is nothing in the mouth blocking the airway, or stopping the person from breathing. Remove anything that is blocking the airway.
Ventilate. Help them breathe. Plug the nose, tilt the head back and give one breath every 5 seconds.
Evaluate. Do you see any improvement? Are they breathing on their own? If not, prepare naloxone.
Evaluate and support. Is the person breathing? Naloxone usually takes effect in 3-5 minutes. If the person is not awake in 5 minutes, give one more 1cc dose of naloxone.
Intake and access is provided through Vancouver Coastal Health’s Access Central phone line for clients or providers: 1-866-658-1221 - Seven days a week, 9 a.m. - 7:45 p.m or by coming in-person to PHC’s Rapid Access Addiction Clinic (RAAC) at St. Paul’s Hospital which is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and can be accessed via the Emergency Department. This clinic offers in-person, same day clinical assessment and care and no appointment or referral required.
What happens when you call Access Central?
• A nurse will talk to you about your substance use goals along with your medical and substance use history. A physician may also speak with you if further information is required.
o If you don’t require admission for withdrawal management, the team will explore other options with you.
• If appropriate, you will be offered same day virtual care to address your substance use needs.
• You will be supported with your substance use goals in the outpatient setting while you wait for your intake date.
EDs: What to expect
- When you arrive, a triage nurse will assess your condition and an admitting clerk will take your information.
- Please have your BC Services Card ready if you have one.
- The most serious cases are seen immediately, and most emergency patients receive care within 30 minutes.
- Be aware that you may be required to wait longer as patients in the Emergency Department are seen based on the seriousness of their illness or injury and not on time of arrival.
- Less urgent cases are monitored by the triage nurse and treated appropriately if their condition worsens.
Learn more from Your guide to the Emergency Department
Please check ED Wait Times for estimated wait time until you can be seen by a physician.
Note about ED Wait Times:
This is an average wait time and may change based on the number and severity of other patients attending the ED. So please note that this is an estimated time and not a guarantee.
Geriatric emergency nurses (GEN) are skilled Emergency Department nurses with exceptional knowledge of older adults and the care and community supports they might need.
Emergency patients and their loved ones can ask to consult these experts. The GEN’s primary goal is to work with the Emergency Department team to enhance care of patients 70 years of age and older and to help with early recognition of geriatric issues and care coordination.
We want the Emergency Department to be a safe place for all. For the safety of everyone, we will ask all patients and visitors presenting to SPH’s Emergency Department if they are carrying any weapons. Weapons include both illegal weapons and things not traditionally considered as weapons but that could be used to cause harm (examples include hammers, screwdrivers, household knives, sporting equipment).
Do not to bring these items with you to the Emergency Department. If you do, we will give you the opportunity to either return to the ED without the item or hand over the weapon for the duration of your stay in hospital.
Please note that we will report any illegal weapons, such as firearms, brass knuckles, and cross-bows to authorities and not return them to their owners.
The Emergency Departments at Providence have an intervention and response protocol for patients arriving at the Emergency Department who may have been involved in domestic violence, elder abuse or child abuse.
For more information, call: 604-682-2344 local 62964
Sometimes a newborn is unsafely abandoned because its mother or caregiver feels that they hae no other option. The Angel’s Cradle offers an alternative.
If you are a new mother and you're struggling, please know that there are many options to support you and your baby including your family doctor, the Crisis Centre of BC and hospital social workers. If you're concerned for the immediate welfare of your baby, you can call the Ministry of Children and Family Development at 1-800-663-9122 to talk with a social worker. The Angel’s Cradle is a last option, but your baby will be safe.