Yale Health

What is an “emergency”?

Care for an emergency medical condition is covered at facilities worldwide. If you have an emergency medical condition, go to the nearest medical facility for treatment.

An emergency medical condition is a sudden and severe condition, sickness or injury, including, but not limited to, severe pain, which would lead a prudent layperson including the parent or guardian of a minor child or the parent or guardian of a disabled individual possessing an average knowledge of medicine and health, to believe that failure to get immediate medical care could result in:

  • Placing one’s health in serious jeopardy;
  • Serious impairment to a bodily function(s);
  • Serious dysfunction to a body part(s) or organ(s); or
  • In the case of a pregnant woman, serious jeopardy to the health of the unborn child.