Emergency and Trauma

Fast, Quality Emergency Care in San Diego

When you need emergency care, every minute counts. All Scripps emergency department locations in San Diego County have an average wait time of 30 minutes or less.

If the situation is life-threatening, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

For an urgent, but non-life or limb-threatening health concern, urgent care is often a convenient alternative to the emergency room.

Emergency Care Locations

Feature ER or Urgent Care 600 x 200

About the Emergency Room

ER doctor checking patient's swollen glands

When to go to the emergency room

The emergency department sees patients with conditions and injuries that need immediate attention. These may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Facial lacerations
  • Deep skin abrasions or severe cuts requiring stitches
  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
  • Fevers and rash
  • Head and eye injuries
  • Severe flu and cold symptoms
  • Sudden change in mental state

If you’re ever unsure about where to get the most appropriate level of care as quickly as possible, it’s generally best to go to the emergency department.

What to expect in the emergency room

Our emergency room assessment process has reduced average wait times at Scripps ERs, allowing for faster care when you need it most. This seamless process starts with your check-in and registration at any Scripps emergency room, where you’ll be quickly registered and evaluated. Once in the ER, you’ll be seen by an emergency care nurse and physician at the same time, so you only have to explain your symptoms once. Your emergency care team may then order additional tests or prescribe a treatment plan to get you back home as soon as possible.

Scripps is one of the first health systems in California to implement this new emergency department assessment system which has reduced the number of patients leaving without treatment and the amount of time spent on ambulance bypass.

Quality emergency care

Scripps offers the highest quality of emergency care that encompasses a variety of injuries and conditions. Our emergency departments have been recognized for best-practices and fast, efficient care.

  • Certified Stroke Centers. All four of our hospital emergency rooms have been certified as Primary Stroke Centers by the Joint Commission, which means our ER locations have been recognized for providing effective, evidence-based care to treat stroke.

  • Certified STEMI Receiving Centers. All of our emergency rooms are certified by the American Heart Association as STEMI receiving centers for the treatment of heart attacks. A STEMI receiving center works closely with first responders to ensure that heart attack patients receive the fastest, most effective heart attack care using evidence-based techniques for minimizing heart damage and improving chances of survival and long-term recovery.

  • Trauma services. Scripps Health operates two facilities with trauma services serving San Diego County: Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego (Level I trauma center) and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla (Level II trauma center). The American College of Surgeons assigns Level I and II trauma center designations to hospitals that provide a comprehensive range of immediately available, in-house services and expertise. The designation ensures that trauma patients receive the most complete range of timely care available in their region. Scripps trauma centers are staffed 24 hours a day with a variety of surgeons and specialists and treat more than 3,500 patients annually.