About Us

Trauma Care Throughout San Diego County

Learn more about the trauma care at Scripps Health.

Trauma Care Throughout San Diego County

Scripps is part of the San Diego Trauma System, which has six designated trauma hospitals including Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego.

About Trauma Care at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla

The Trauma Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla is a Level II center verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

Our trauma team

Our multidisciplinary teams include:


  • Board-certified trauma physicians and surgeons
  • Emergency and trauma-trained nursing staff
  • Trauma nurse practitioners (NP)
  • Director of trauma services
  • Trauma team nurse leaders
  • Case managers
  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW)
  • Research/performance improvement specialists
  • Trauma registrars
  • Administrative staff
  • Physician assistant resident

Our 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 research program

The research department for Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla trauma service focuses on a wide variety of investigative studies into traumatic injuries, treatments and outcomes. Research findings are disseminated in journal publications and national scientific meetings, and provide foundations for decisions about the best treatment options and education for the public.


Projects have included:


  • National and international multi-center studies investigating motor vehicle injuries and car design (CIREN)
  • Resuscitation outcomes for severely injured patients (ROC)
  • Determining the risk of MRI imaging in the presence of pacemakers (MAGNASAFE)
  • Evaluation of surgery with craniectomy for uncontrollable elevation of intra-cranial pressure (RESCUEicp).

In addition, as the only study site in San Diego County, we work closely with our neurosurgeons on an international stroke study (MISTIE III), which is investigating the efficacy of minimally invasive surgery for clot removal.


Other investigative projects include helmet use and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in skateboarders, operative vs non-operative management of splenic injury, and surveillance and prediction of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) risk and outcomes related to severe TBI management.


The risk of traumatic injury affects each population differently, and our research addresses needs for the communities we serve. Injuries among the elderly continue to increase as this population grows, and our research committee is actively investigating ways to prevent trauma injuries and reach out to the community, as well as provide the best treatment options available.

About Trauma Care at Scripps Mercy Hospital

The 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 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.

Our trauma team

Our multidisciplinary teams include:


  • Board-certified trauma physicians and surgeons
  • Emergency and trauma-trained nursing staff
  • Advanced practice trauma nurses
  • Trauma nurse practitioners (NP)
  • Senior director of trauma services
  • Director of Trauma Research & Injury Prevention and Outreach
  • Trauma team nurse leaders
  • Trauma research staff
  • Trauma research residents
  • Case managers
  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW)
  • Research/performance improvement specialists
  • Trauma registrars
  • Administrative staff

Our 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.

Trauma research program

Scripps Mercy has an active research program and also collaborates with UCSD on a variety of clinical studies to help improve trauma patient care and outcomes. The research program focuses on the evaluation, resuscitation and management of critically injured patients both within the hospital and in national multi-center studies. Studies recently conducted include the advanced radiologic imaging for central nervous system trauma, management of chest injuries, early airway management following injury, and alcohol and drug use as root causes of injury. Through scientific presentations and publications, Scripps Mercy Hospital is nationally known for our evidence-based advances in these important areas.

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.