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Is the emergency department the best place for you?

If not, there are other options

Emergency care


The Emergency Department at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) delivers vital healthcare to some of the state’s most critically ill and injured adult patients.

More than 75,000 patients need to come to the Emergency Department each year, including over 1,800 major trauma cases and approximately 100 patients who arrive by ambulance every day.

The Emergency Department (usually called the ED) is open 24 hours, seven days a week and is the ‘super-site’ for major emergencies in South Australia, such as burns, heart attacks and strokes.

It is also the complex multi-trauma destination for the state, with senior doctors and nurses on-site around the clock to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

The ED at the RAH is one of three adult major trauma services in SA and is served by a helipad which can accommodate up to two helicopters.

In addition to trauma, the RAH can assess and treat a large number of people with:

  • Brain, nerve and spinal injuries
  • Cancer
  • Chest pain
  • Complex medical conditions including renal failure
  • Infectious diseases
  • Mental health conditions.

The ED also has a Forensic Privacy Suite for the assessment and care of sexual assault victims in conjunction with Yarrow Place.

The Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre each operate major Emergency Departments, supported by EDs at The Queen Elizabeth, Modbury and Noarlunga hospitals.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital provides care for infants and children.

In an emergency you should always call triple zero (000).

The ambulance team will make a decision about the best hospital to take you to for the best care, first time.

On arrival at the ED, patients will be assessed by senior clinicians in a ‘Quick Look’ area, enabling a prompt assessment of their illness or injury.

After being assessed, patients will then be directed to the most appropriate area for treatment, ensuring they receive the care they need as quickly as possible and reducing time spent in the waiting area.

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