Your Child’s Emergency Department Visit: Philadelphia Campus

If your child is sick and needs immediate care, you may decide to bring them to the Emergency Department (ED) on the Philadelphia Campus of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Understandably, you are worried about your child, but please know our caring and knowledgeable doctors, nurses and support staff will do everything possible to make sure your child gets the best possible care and treatment.

COVID-19 Testing

If you have mild symptoms or are seeking a COVID-19 test, please use community testing resources instead of coming to the ER. That helps free us up to care for serious medical emergencies. CHOP COVID testing options »

Read more about what to expect at the hospital and ED during COVID-19 »

Getting here

The Emergency Department is located on the first floor of the Main Hospital. The address is 3401 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA, 19104. (At the junction of Civic Center Blvd., 34th St. and Convention Ave.)

Get directions to the ED »

Drop-offs and walk-ins

If you are dropped off at the Main Hospital, enter through the front doors/main entrance at 3401 Civic Center Blvd. Proceed to the information desk. Staff will direct you to the Emergency Department.

Patients may also be dropped off at the Emergency Department walk-in entrance, which is located in the ambulance bay next to the main entrance. The nearest intersection is Civic Center Blvd. and East Service Drive. Please note there is no parking in the ambulance bay. After drop-off, security will direct drivers to the parking garage.

By car and need parking

If you arrive by car, pull into the driveway by the Hospital’s main entrance at 3401 Civic Center Blvd. Security will direct you to park in the Main Hospital Parking A (underground parking garage). A security attendant is stationed at the entrance to the garage to answer questions.

Once parked, take any elevator to the first floor and proceed to the Emergency Department on that level.

Parking is validated at the time of registration. It can also be done later in the visit by the registrar or at the security command center.

By public transportation

If you arrive to the Main Hospital by public transit, enter through the front doors/main entrance at 3401 Civic Center Blvd. Proceed to the information desk. Staff will direct you to the Emergency Department.

  • SEPTA buses 30 and 42 drop off right outside the main entrance of the Hospital.
  • The SEPTA Market-Frankford Line 34th Street station is located ½ mile north of the Hospital on 34th St. Walk down 34th St. until you reach the Hospital’s main entrance.
  • Some SEPTA Regional Rail Lines (Airport, Wilmington/Newark, Media/Elwyn) stop at the Penn Medicine Station, located ¼ mile from the Hospital on Convention Ave.

What to expect during your visit

Check-in/Triage

When you arrive, follow the signs to the ED or ask someone to direct you. A triage nurse will assess your child. Registration will begin here.

The purpose of triage is to quickly assess your child's needs and to begin planning their care. A nurse will ask you the reason for your visit and examine your child.

Patients are seen in order based on how serious their condition is. Sometimes other patients may be sicker than they look. They may be seen before your child even if they have not waited as long. We apologize for any delays.

In most cases, a nurse will direct you to the registration desk. However, in some cases, your child may need to be seen immediately and a nurse will direct you and your child to an ED treatment room. If this happens, a clerk will come to your child's bedside to register your family.

Registration

If you are asked to go to the registration desk, a clerk will ask you for the information needed for your child's chart and will have you sign a consent form for your child to be treated. You’ll be asked to provide your insurance information if you have it.

For questions about the ED services covered by your insurance, please call the member services number on the back of your card. After your visit, call 1-800-427-1921 with any questions about your bill.

After you register, please take a seat in the waiting area.

Waiting area

Listen for your child’s name to be called. A nurse will bring you into the ED as soon as a room is available.

If you think your child's condition has changed while you are waiting, please tell the triage nurse.

While you are waiting, whether in the waiting area or in a treatment room, feel free to use the resources listed below.

Patient care in the ED

Once in a patient care room, your child will be evaluated by a team of specially trained nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and other team members.

Many of the doctors in the ED are training to be pediatricians or emergency specialists. An attending physician will head the medical team that diagnoses and treats your child. There is at least one board-certified pediatric emergency specialist in the ED at all times.

The care team will ask questions and may do tests or consult with other staff about your child’s care. This may take time. Your care team can write updates on the communication board in your room and will try to make you and your child as comfortable as possible while you wait.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child's treatment, please ask your child’s nurse or doctor.

Extended Care Area

There are times when it is important to monitor or treat your child for more than a few hours in our Emergency Department. In some cases, your child may be moved to the Extended Care Area adjacent to our main ED. The ED attending physicians will still be responsible for your child's care in this area. If a longer hospitalization is required, your child may be moved to an inpatient room upstairs in the Main Hospital.

During busy times, you may need to share a room so that we can care for all of our patients.

If your child is admitted

If your child needs further treatment, they may be admitted into the hospital. In this case, your child will be brought to a room in another area of the hospital. Your child’s care will then transfer from the ED doctors and nurses to a medical or surgical team. During busy times, you may need to share a room so that we can care for all of our patients.

If your child is discharged

In most cases, your child’s ED visit will not lead to a hospital stay. In cases where your child is treated in the ED and then sent home, CHOP clinicians will give you written instructions about your child's home treatment, details about any medications your child may need and when to take them, as well as when and who your child should go to for follow-up care. If medication is needed, we can provide a list of pharmacies open 24 hours a day.

Resources for families while you wait and during your stay

While you are here, these resources are available for you and your child:

  • Coloring materials are available in the waiting room. In the treatment area, Child Life staff can assist you with support and additional play materials for your child.
  • Age appropriate movies are available on the CHOP Movie App. It is free and can be found in the App Store on Apple and Android Devices. Search “CHOP Movies.” Download the app and watch movies for free while you wait.
  • Beverages can be found near the security desk.
  • Food and refreshments are available on the first floor of the hospital in the Food Court and Gift Shop. If your child is admitted, you can have food delivered to your room. The Food Court is open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and 1 – 4 a.m. Find menus and locations at chop.healthcaredish.com.
  • If your child spends the night in the ED, ask for a sleeping chair. Staff will do their best to provide one.
  • If you are leaving the ED, you will need a visitor band from the check-in desk to return. ID bracelets are also required for all patients. These are to ensure your child’s safety while they are here.
  • Cellphone charging stations are available in the waiting area and in the Extended Care Unit (EDECU). Free WiFi is available. The network is chopguest.
  • If you parked in a CHOP garage, the check-in desk can validate your parking ticket. Validated parking is a flat $4 rate.


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