Pediatric Emergency Medicine

On-call Emergency and Trauma Treatment for Children

Doctors at Loyola Medicine’s pediatric emergency department provide specialized care for children and their families. Every year, 15,000 children and adolescents seek care at Loyola’s emergency department, the Chicago suburbs' only around-the-clock pediatric trauma program. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by board-certified pediatric emergency and emergency medicine doctors.

All of Loyola’s pediatric emergency staff, nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals understand that children have special needs and require a different approach to care than adults. Children and adolescents are cared for in patient rooms that are both child-friendly and designed with up-to-date medical equipment that’s appropriate for children.

Loyola’s pediatric emergency medical specialists work as an integrated team with subspecialists in pediatric medical and surgical disciplines, including orthopaedics, neurology, cardiology and endocrinology, to offer your child the highest level of care.

Why Choose Loyola for Pediatric Emergency Medicine?

Caring for health emergencies in children requires special expertise. Loyola’s pediatric emergency specialists are fellowship-trained and have at least three extra years of pediatric emergency training compared to adult emergency doctors.

The child life program at Loyola helps young patients and their families cope with emergency department visits, hospitalizations and illness. In our pediatric emergency department, child life specialists offer support to help children and their parents prepare for treatments and procedures. They also offer fun, age-appropriate activities to distract children and keep their spirits up.

Loyola’s pediatric emergency medicine department has been designated by the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children as an emergency department accredited for the management of children. Our aeromedical critical care transport team is on call 24 hours a day to assist in the transport of critically ill children from outlying hospitals.

What Conditions are Treated at Our Pediatric Emergency Department?

Loyola’s emergency department treats children who have urgent, serious illnesses that include:

  • Anaphylactic allergic reactions
  • Child abuse
  • Compound fractures (bone protrudes through skin)
  • Concussion
  • Frostbite
  • Gunshot wound
  • High fever in newborn (younger than three months old)
  • Hypovolemia (severe blood loss)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Near drowning
  • Poisoning
  • Seizure
  • Sepsis
  • Serious burn, cut, bone fracture or infection
  • Severe abdominal pain or dehydration
  • Severe asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Smoke inhalation​

For health conditions requiring prompt attention but which are not life-threatening, Loyola’s Immediate Care Centers offer care for adults and children on a walk-in basis at four convenient locations—no appointment necessary. The cost of an immediate care visit is similar to an office visit with your child’s pediatrician; and wait times to see Loyola’s immediate care doctors are much shorter than emergency room wait times. 

Loyola’s Immediate Care Centers are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm and on Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 8 am to 3 pm. The centers are closed on Christmas Day. Learn more about immediate care.

How are Pediatric Emergency Conditions Diagnosed?

When you arrive at Loyola’s emergency department, you can expect to meet with a triage nurse who will meet you and your child to obtain basic information and medical history. The nurse will ask about your child’s medications and measure his or her vital signs.

Based your child’s symptoms, current illness and medical history, your child’s doctor may conduct tests to determine the cause of your child’s problem—including a blood test, X-ray or CT scan (computed tomography). High-tech mobile ultrasound units are available for bedside imaging. Loyola’s emergency department staff may consult with specialty physicians, a pediatric specialist or a trauma doctor in order to provide your child with the most comprehensive assessment and treatment.

How are Pediatric Emergency Conditions Treated?

Loyola’s experienced emergency medical team will work quickly to resuscitate and stabilize a critically injured patient. A quick response can save a life or help a child have an easier, faster recovery. Patients benefit from the expertise of Loyola's Level I Trauma Center and the groundbreaking Loyola Burn Center for burn and trauma injuries. 

Should your child need to be hospitalized and require critical care expertise, he or she will receive compassionate, advanced medical care and supportive services at Loyola’s 14-bed pediatric critical care unit, which is staffed by board-certified pediatricians. Loyola’s pediatric critical care unit was specially designed with children and their families in mind. Providing home comforts, Loyola offers child-friendly amenities and comfortable accommodations for your family. Dedicated social workers and a child life specialist are trained to care for the special needs of hospitalized children, helping ease the child’s anxiety and managing the emotional effects of hospitalization. 

When you are discharged from the emergency department, you will be given instructions on any continued care or medication your child may need, including when to follow up with your child’s pediatrician. 

Educational Programs to Prepare Families for Emergency Situations

Loyola has long partnered with Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children, along with other government agencies and programs, to help parents and caregivers prevent and respond to childhood emergencies. We are active partners in educating our community and schools, encouraging children to wear seatbelts, learn emergency phone numbers and help prevent fires.