Our Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We treat people who have urgent medical problems because of accidents or illnesses.


Is the emergency department the right place to go?

Non-emergency problems

If you need medical attention for non-urgent problems, you should go to your GP, not the Emergency Department. These problems may include coughs, sore throats, flu symptoms, diarrhoea, vomiting and earaches.

Minor injuries

If you have a minor injury, you can go to an injury unit. There are currently 11 injury units in Ireland where you can be treated for a range of injuries including broken bones, sprains, joint dislocations and minor burns/scalds. Medical staff in injury units can apply plaster casts, treat wounds with stitches and perform  x-rays. The injury unit in Dublin City is the Mater Smithfield Rapid Injury Clinic. Wait times are generally shorter than for an emergency department and there is no charge for this service if you have a GP referral letter. Attending an injury unit allows staff in emergency departments to concentrate their effort on patients with serious injuries. 

For more information and the list if injury unit locations in Ireland, please visit see the HSE website here. 

Eye emergencies

If you have an eye emergency you should use the eye casualty service. Read a full explanation of the eye casualty service.

Sexually transmitted infections

The sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic provides screening and treatment for all STIs. All services are confidential and free of charge. You don't need a referral, but you do need to make an appointment. We run clinics for new patients on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you need an urgent appointment outside of these hours you should go to the emergency department. Find more information on the STI service.


What to expect when you come in to the Emergency Department

Assessment

A trained nurse will assess you as soon as possible after you arrive at the Emergency Department. This assessment is called triage. It is a system used to make sure we take care of the sickest patients first. Patients are then seen in order of urgency, not arrival times. The most seriously ill patients are seen first, even if they arrived after you.

Admission to hospital

If you need to be admitted, we will arrange a bed for you on the appropriate ward as soon as one becomes available. This may take time, and the emergency staff will take care of you in the meantime.

Follow-up care

If you do not need to be admitted to hospital, we will organise any follow-up appointments. These could be with your GP, a specialist doctor or nurse, our outpatients department or another hospital.