Emergency Care

The Emergency Department at MarinHealth Medical Center

A vital community resource, the emergency department (ED) at MarinHealth Medical Center offers comprehensive services, including lifesaving care for major injuries, emergency spine and brain surgery, and award-winning care for heart attack and stroke. We are designated as a Level III-N Trauma Center, with a complete team available 24/7, including board-certified emergency physicians and other specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, emergency technicians, and support staff.

A Leading-Edge Facility

Located in our new Oak Pavilion, our Emergency Department and Trauma Center has been expanded to three times its original size. For the safety of our patients, we have put in separate entrances and treatment areas for trauma, psychiatric, and high-security patients. The department includes five trauma bays and 20 private patient rooms, including negative pressure and decontamination rooms engineered to keep contagious pathogens from spreading into the rest of the ED. Rooms are designed to provide visual, auditory, and olfactory isolation for maximum patient privacy. Patients in need of surgery or interventional heart procedures can easily be moved to those departments, located directly above the ED, through a special private elevator.

We offer several critical services that are not available at other local hospitals:

  • An official “Designated Trauma Center” staffed by an experienced multidisciplinary team of trauma specialists.
  • A Certified Primary Stroke Center that can treat ischemic stroke as well as both types of hemorrhagic stroke (intracerebral and subarachnoid).
  • A specialized Spine & Brain Program in collaboration with UCSF Health’s department of Neurosurgery, staffed with excellent surgical specialists who can perform emergency surgery for traumatic injuries of the spine and brain.
  • An Ouchless ED that incorporates child-friendly protocols that help take the anxiety and pain out of visits to the Emergency Department.

(Watch the above video to learn more about emergency and trauma services at MarinHealth Medical Center)

What to Expect in the ED

Patients who arrive by ambulance come in through a separate entrance. Critically ill patients are always seen first. Other patients are seen according to the seriousness of their medical condition.

A staff member greets each patient upon arrival and gathers the information needed to start care. Patients are then directed to a bed and seen by an RN. Next, they are visited by an MD, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, and finally, by a registrar. When we are treating an unusually high number of patients, patients are directed to the waiting room where the triage nurse completes their assessment. If a patient’s condition changes while he or she is waiting, a nurse or the registration clerk should be notified.

It may be necessary to obtain blood tests, X-rays or other medical tests. Blood test results usually take about an hour. X-rays are reviewed by the emergency physician and shared with the patient during the hospital visit.


The Marin Hospitalist Medical Group is a large team of board-certified physicians with special expertise in the needs of hospitalized patients. These hospitalists work exclusively at MarinHealth Medical Center and collaborate with specialists, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team.


We welcome visitors, as long as they don’t affect the safety and comfort of our patients. Unless a child is injured or ill, or there are no practical provisions for that child’s care at home, we ask parents to please avoid bringing children to the ED.


Our goal is to keep you, the patient, in the loop and provide any necessary updates. We urge our patients to speak up at any time if they have a question or concern or are confused about their care or condition.

Stress Disorder Management

Through our Behavioral Health Program, we offer care for our emergency/trauma patients who develop Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and/or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Safety Tips & Injury Prevention

Many of the injuries we see in our ED could have been avoided. Our trauma center has published a few general injury prevention tips and strategies to help keep you out of our emergency department. Get tips on avoiding injuries of all kinds!

Special Recognition

The Emergency Department at MarinHealth Medical Center has received awards and has been recognized for outstanding achievements by the following organizations:

Lantern Award (2018-2021)Lantern Award (2018-2021)
Emergency Nurses Association
We are one of just 19 hospitals nationwide to receive the Emergency Nurses Association’s 2018 Lantern Award. This award recognizes our emergency department’s accomplishments in incorporating evidence-based practice and innovation into emergency care. It symbolizes our commitment to quality, safety, and a healthy work environment.

Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics LogoEmergency Department Approved for Pediatrics
Marin County Emergency Medical Services Agency
This designation is the result of a two-year effort to optimize emergency care to best meet the needs of children and their families.