Emergency Medicine

For referral and assistance call:
Emergency Services - (361) 694-5100
or Child Protection Team - (361) 694-CARE (2273)

Every minute matters when your child has a health emergency. Getting your child the best possible care is essential, and Driscoll Children’s Hospital is fully staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Emergency Department, which treats more than 40,000 patients every year, has a specially trained team of physicians, nurses and specialists who are ready when your child needs expert medical care for a health emergency. Day or night, we treat all injuries and illnesses from fevers and fractures to brain and spinal injuries. The Emergency Medicine Department is composed of physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses who are pediatric specialists dedicated to provide comprehensive services for a broad range of conditions from simple acute pediatric problems to complex critical emergencies.

The Emergency Medicine Department has a trauma coordinator who handles all aspects of trauma care to ensure the traumatized child receives the best care possible. The Emergency Medicine Department also has a close collaboration with Transport Services, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and other pediatric subspecialties.


The Emergency Medicine Department provides comprehensive services for a broad range of conditions from simple acute pediatric problems to complex critical emergencies, including:

  • Acute asthma
  • Burns
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Dehydration
  • Ingestions
  • Near drowning
  • Seizures
  • All minor and major injuries
  • Dermatology surgery services

What to Expect


  • You provide basic information at the check-in desk.
  • You will NOT need your insurance card at this time.
  • A child with a life-threatening condition will be seen immediately by the doctor.
  • Please be seated in the waiting room until a nurse calls your child to the triage exam room.

First Exam

  • A nurse will assess your child’s condition, ask about your child’s medical history and perform a simple but thorough exam.
  • If necessary, medication will be given to treat your child’s pain or fever unless he/she was given something prior to arrival.

You may be returned to the waiting room until there is an examination room available. For safety, children will be seen in order of medical priority, not by time of arrival.

Exam Room

  • A nurse will check again to see how your child is doing, and a doctor will then see him/her as soon as possible.
  • If at any time there is any change in your child’s condition, please inform your nurse.


  • If your child’s problem is easy to recognize and treat, the doctor will provide treatment to your child as needed. If the cause of your child’s symptoms is unclear, tests will be run to help determine the cause of your child’s illness before being treated.
  • Discharge or Admit: After diagnosis and treatment, your child will be discharged or, if necessary, he/she will be admitted to the hospital.
  • Discharge Instructions: If your child is discharged from the Emergency Department, you will be given instructions on how to continue treatment of your child’s symptoms at home if required. You may also be given prescriptions your child may need.

Wait Time

We appreciate your patience as we attend to the children with the most urgent medical needs first. We value your child’s health and we will provide medical services as quickly and safely as we can.

Visit all your child's specialists in one trip to Driscoll Children's Hospital.

For your convenience, please ask any of our specialty clinics to coordinate all of your child's appointments in one day.

You can contact us at (361) 694-5000 or call your specialty clinic directly for further assistance.