Trauma Care

Expert trauma services in San Diego County

Learn about the trauma care services available at Scripps Health in San Diego.

Expert trauma services in San Diego County

Scripps is one of the leading providers of trauma care in San Diego County. We provide immediate, highly specialized care to more than 3,500 critically injured patients every year through our Level I Trauma Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and Level II Trauma Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Our expert trauma surgeons, specialty physicians and multidisciplinary team of trauma staff are ready 24 hours a day to care for every type of traumatic injury.

Trauma care at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla

The Barbey Family Emergency and Trauma Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla is a Level II trauma center verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. It offers the most advanced technology and medical expertise available to treat sudden illness and life-threatening injuries. The center includes a 33,000-square-foot center, 51 private beds, precision imaging in two diagnostic X-ray suites, MRI, ultrasound, a low-dose CT scanner and more.

Trauma patients

More than 1,700 patients receive care annually from our trauma service. Patients arrive by ambulance, air transport and private vehicle. At the Trauma Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla:


  • Our patients range in age from 14 to more than 100 years old
  • Approximately 30 percent of our trauma patients are over the age of 65 with the fastest-growing patient age group being 75 and older
  • Our patient volume increases by an average of 10 percent each year
  • 65 percent of trauma patients are male
  • Males between ages 20 to 35 make up the largest percentage of our patients and are often involved in riskier behaviors that lead to injury

Trauma care at Scripps Mercy Hospital

The Conrad Prebys Emergency and Trauma Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego is a Level I center verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. It is also a private teaching hospital for trauma medicine. Scripps Mercy Hospital has a dedicated trauma floor with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), telemetry and medical/surgical bed capability. Experts from all disciplines come together as a team to provide immediate, comprehensive and compassionate care. We collaborate with specialists every step of the way, from the scene of the injury through hospital care, discharge, follow-up care and rehabilitation.

Trauma patients

Approximately 2,500 patients receive care annually from our trauma service. Scripps Mercy’s catchment area encompasses the southeast section of San Diego County bordered on the west by the 805 Freeway, on the east by Highway 94 and on the south by the U.S. – Mexican border. Patients arrive by ambulance, air transport and private vehicle.

Graduate medical education for trauma care

Scripps Mercy Hospital is a private teaching hospital affiliated with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD). Surgical and emergency medicine residents are actively involved in trauma care and research activities.

Trauma care and resources

Comprehensive trauma care often involves a wide range of programs and services, not only for patients, but families and caregivers as well. From specialized physical and emotional education and support services to help with transportation and finances, San Diego offers numerous trauma-related resources, including:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a trauma injury?


A traumatic injury refers to physical injuries of sudden onset and severity which require immediate medical interventions to save life and limb. Traumatic injuries could result from motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, falls or natural disasters. Injuries can be described as intentional (such as assault) or unintentional (such as an accident).


What is a trauma system?


A trauma system is a coordinated system of care in which a certain numbers of hospitals in a geographic region are designated as Trauma Centers, with the medical specialists, technology and equipment needed to treat traumatic injuries. The American College of Surgeons assigns Level I and Level 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.

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