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The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department


The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of pediatric patients. Our 22,000-square-foot, full-service emergency department is designed to meet the unique needs of children. Our doctors, who are board-certified in emergency medicine, and specially trained nurses provide the very best patient- and family-centered care 24 hours, seven days a week.

The Emergency Department features 31 treatment rooms, including 14 rapid evaluation and discharge exam rooms and three triage suites. The Emergency Department is close to advanced operating rooms, laboratory, pathology and imaging services—each with a dedicated pediatric environment and staff. Learn more about what to expect and the treatment process at CHOC Children’s.

The Only Pediatric Emergency Department in Orange County

Children are not tiny adults and have very specific health care needs. From our equipment to the facilities to the décor, the Emergency Department is designed to meet the needs of children of all ages—from the tiniest newborns to adolescents and teens. Creating an inviting, serene, healing environment for all patients is a top priority for all of our associates. Additionally, we are proud to offer our Emergency Department patients and families the assistance of a child life specialist and special tricks and medical interventions used to make emergency visits to CHOC less painful. Learn more about how CHOC strives to provide an “ouchless” Emergency Department experience.

At CHOC Children’s, we believe in patient- and family-centered care. That means whenever we are treating a child, his or her feelings, emotions and future well-being are a top priority. In addition, family members may stay with the child at all times while in the Emergency Department and help make decisions regarding the child’s care and treatment along the way.

Convenient and Family Friendly

At CHOC Children’s, we understand that life with kids can be hectic and strive to make our services convenient for families. Located off the 5 and 22 freeways, the Emergency Department provides a streamlined process for moving children through the triage process quickly and efficiently. Each exam room is designed to be spacious and accommodate strollers and other children who often accompany their siblings on emergency visits to the hospital.

In addition to providing families the room and speedy service they need, the Emergency Department provides many of the services patients may need without having to leave the unit. Most blood draws and tests can be done at the patient’s bedside, and X-ray equipment is available in the unit as well.

Should a child need an MRI, CT scan or surgery, each of these services is located within steps of the Emergency Department for the convenience of our families and in order to provide our patients the fastest service possible.

CHOC Children’s has the only trauma center in Orange County that is dedicated to kids.

As one of four trauma centers in Orange County—and the only one dedicated exclusively for kids—CHOC Children’s is ready to treat traumatic injuries 24 hours a day. We have the pediatric expertise only a children’s hospital can provide. Our trauma team is trained to care for children and their unique physiological, anatomical and emotional needs, and our protocols and equipment are specially designed for pediatrics. Learn more about our pediatric trauma center.

Virtual Tour


The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of pediatric patients. Our 22,000‐square‐foot, full‐service emergency department is designed to meet the unique needs of children. Our doctors, board‐certified in emergency medicine, and specially trained nurses provide the very best patient‐ and family‐centered care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Take a look inside of the emergency department.

We strive to make trips to the Emergency Department "ouchless."

Stitches, shots and sutures can be scary for Emergency Department patients of any age, which is why our Emergency Department strives to make visits as “ouchless” as possible.

Staff members take a holistic approach for pain management at CHOC: Not only do they focus on minimizing physical pain, but they also focus on alleviating mental discomfort. Staff members are trained in age-appropriate techniques, and also call on child life specialists to help or relieve fear and anxiety in patients. In line with CHOC’s mission to provide family-centered care, ED staff members also rely on the simple presence of a parent or guardian to help calm patients.

Distraction plays a strong role in comforting patients. Here’s a short list of distraction methods or tools used in the ED:
  • books
  • iPads
  • games
  • movies
  • stickers
  • coloring books
  • video games
  • bubbles
  • beads
CHOC Children’s Emergency Department has a one-poke goal, meaning staff members work to ensure that a needle is injected just once during a procedure. If a patient’s veins are difficult to find, perhaps because they are dehydrated, staff may rely on an ultrasound machine to help identify the location of a vein. This increases the chances that one poke will be sufficient to achieve the procedure’s goal.
The J-Tip allows CHOC Children’s ED staff to administer numbing medication, such as lidocaine, transdermally (through the skin) and without needles. The device uses pressurized gas to propel medicine into the lowest layer of the patient's skin in less than a second. Once activated, the J-Tip emits a “pop” and “hiss” noise, similar to what’s heard when opening a soda can. The J-Tip is easy to use for staff and virtually painless for patients.
Efforts to minimize discomfort are made for even the smallest of patients at CHOC Children’s ED. Staff members offer babies pacifiers dipped in Toot Sweet, a 24-percent water and sucrose solution. Absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth, the solution has proven to calm and soothe infants. The solution can be administered just minutes before a procedure or during, as necessary.
Patients receiving stitches at CHOC Children’s ED hardly feel a thing thanks to LET, a topical anesthesia mixture containing lidocaine, epinephrine and tetracaine. A staff member will apply the numbing gel to the affected area before administering stitches. The affected area will feel numb and weak, which usually wears off after 20 minutes or so.
CHOC ED patients who undergo a lumbar puncture or who have ports that must be accessed will first be numbed with LMX, a topical liposomal lidocaine cream. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to take effect, and wears off between 40 and 60 minutes after application.

Health Features

First Aid in the Home
Young children commonly get hurt at home from rolling or falling off their bed, from falling out of their strollers, hitting their heads or falling off a counter where they are sitting. Learn how to perform basic first aid at home in this Health feature.

Chemical Poisoning in the Home
Many ordinary household items can be poisonous, from medicines and makeup to bug spray and cleaning products. Learn how to prevent accidental chemical poisoning and swallowing in the home in this Health feature.

Kids and Emergency Care
Children require special treatment when it comes to emergency care, not just for their size, but also the equipment needed to treat their injuries and illnesses. Learn about taking kids to the emergency room in this Health feature.


The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department

We are located on the 1st floor of the Bill Holmes tower. The emergency department access is located off Pepper Street. From La Veta turn on to Pepper Street, pass the main entrance canopy and turn in at the second driveway under the Emergency sign. Valet parking is available for patients.

Get printable maps of our campus in English or Spanish.

1201 W. La Veta | Orange, CA 92868
Phone: (888) 770-2462

If your child needs immediate medical attention and you cannot safely transport your child to the hospital, please call 911 immediately. Families may request to be taken to CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange by ambulance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most parents, at some time, will face the decision of whether to bring their child to the Emergency Department (ED). It can be a scary and confusing situation for children and parents alike, but this list of frequently asked questions about ED visits might help settle confusion.

Knowing when a child’s condition reaches a level in which it needs emergency care can be difficult. After all, children are not small adults. They might display different symptoms than adults, and some symptoms that aren’t serious for an adult can be very serious – even dangerous – for children.

Staff members at the Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital advise parents to follow their parental instincts. The Emergency Department is not just for critically ill children and treats a variety of ailments, big and small, from broken bones to small abrasions to headaches. No matter is too small, and no patient is turned away. Whether or not the child needs treatment, parents will leave the ED with reassurance and education.
For any parent, the notion of rushing a child to an Emergency Department in an ambulance is terrifying. In a critical situation, parents want to get their child help as soon as possible at the closest facility possible. But should the right circumstances occur, parents can request which Emergency Department the ambulance will visit. As a common courtesy, transport teams will honor the request to the best of their ability. If the child is suffering from critical illness or fatal injury that requires absolute immediate attention, the medic team will take the child to the closest Emergency Department.
CHOC Children’s does not require approval from a patient’s health care provider to offer care at the Emergency Department. However, families should consult with their insurance provider for more specific information regarding coverage specifics.
The Emergency Department at CHOC Children's is designed for fast triage, quick diagnosis and speedy treatment to streamline each visit, but it is difficult to estimate how long a visit will take. Many things factor into the length of a visit, including the type and severity of the child’s ailment, as well as the other patients visiting the ED that day. Patients are generally seen in the order of their arrival, but children with serious illnesses or injuries may be seen first. In this case, you might notice patients who arrived after you being called ahead of you. Also, the ED physician who is treating your patient might be interrupted to respond to a sudden, critical emergency. Please remain patient and calm during your visit. Know that the comfort of you and the child are a top concern for all ED staff, and they are working hard to provide quality, efficient care to all patients they are privileged to serve.
“Triage” describes the process wherein a nurse assesses your child’s condition to determine what type of care he or she will need – and how quickly. Triage occurs after screening and initial registration. If there are rooms open, the child will be immediately taken to an exam room. If all rooms are full, the Emergency Department has three triage suites, wherein a nurse will ask questions, collect vital information such as temperature, pulse and weight, and perform a basic exam. If an exam room is available immediately after registration, the child might skip the triage process completely.
Yes. There’s no need to worry about being away from your child at CHOC.
We are committed to making the entire family part of all decisions and treatments provided whenever possible. We even provide larger-than-average exam rooms in order to accommodate family members, siblings and strollers. It is important to know, however, that there may be times that only parents will be allowed with the patient due to the urgency of care needs or in the case of certain tests, like X-rays. In general, parents should use good judgment when bringing siblings to the Emergency Department. A visit can be a long process, and small children might grow inpatient. It is also important for parents to be able to focus on their ill child, as they will be given a lot of information and will be asked many questions by our staff.

Whether siblings will be in tow or not, parents, patients and siblings alike will receive guidance and support from Emergency Department staff throughout their time at CHOC Children's. We are with you every step of the way.

Child Life

An emergency visit to the hospital can be scary for children of all ages. The child life specialists in our Emergency Department work with children and their families to make emergency visits to the hospital less stressful and frightening. When children arrive at the hospital, they are often crying, nervous or anxious because of the pain or symptoms they are experiencing and the fear of what will happen once they are being treated.

Child life specialists work with children to make them less nervous or anxious and better able to understand and feel comfortable with the hospital experience. To do this, they use special play techniques that help patients feel more comfortable with the hospital environment. Movies, video games and activities like blowing bubbles or coloring might just look like fun, but in the hospital they keep children distracted and help ease their worries.

Another important role of our child life specialists is helping patients understand how the medical team assists them during their visit. They have special teaching tools for every procedure or test that might be needed. Books, practice dolls, pictures and play medical equipment also help patients understand and prepare for their care. During procedures children can watch a movie on a tablet, play a game or engage in other fun activities.

Child life specialists are a very important part of what makes the Emergency Department at CHOC one of the most unique emergency department experiences in California.


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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine