Emergency

Our Emergency and Trauma Centre at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital is large, busy emergency department. We operate 24 hours a day, providing specialised care to adult patients with a serious illness or injury.

Our services

We provide emergency medical services to patients needing urgent care for a wide range of conditions. We also have a special expertise in caring for people with:

  • brain and nerve disorders
  • burns
  • chest pain and heart attacks
  • diving related problems needing hyperbaric treatment
  • mental health including eating disorders
  • sexual assault and domestic violence
  • trauma
  • women’s health problems and pregnancy issues.

Full list of services

Please note we are an adult Emergency Department and can only provide initial care for children, including infants. Any children seen in DEM are usually referred to The Prince Charles Hospital or Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for further care.

We recommend calling 000 or taking sick children directly to those hospitals.

How to access this service

You do not need a referral letter from your doctor to access this service.

What to bring

Each time you visit us
  • Your Medicare card
  • Private health insurance card (if you have one)
  • Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
  • Current medications (prescription, over the counter and herbal medicine)
  • Relevant x-rays, scans or any other test results or reports
  • Glasses, hearing and mobility aids
Staying overnight or longer
  • A dressing gown or cardigan, sleepwear or comfortable day clothes
  • Slippers and shoes (low heel, closed-in, non-slip, adjustable and firm fitting around the foot)
  • Your toiletries and personal items
  • Copy of Advanced Healthcare Directive or Enduring Power of Attorney if you have one
  • Something to read or do during your stay
  • Medical devices required for your care (e.g. CPAP machine)
  • Do not bring large amounts of cash or valuables such as jewellery, watches or other items of value to you

When you arrive

On arrival, your symptoms will be assessed by an experienced emergency nurse and triaged in order of priority. You will be seen as soon as possible. Sometimes other patients may have more serious injuries or illnesses and may be seen before you. If your condition worsens, please let the triage nurse know.

Are you visiting from overseas?

If you are visiting from another country and require medical attention your may be billed for the cost of treatment.

Appropriate behaviour

The safety of our staff and patients is top priority. In accordance with Queensland Health policy, we do not tolerate any form of aggressive or abusive behaviour. Any audio or visual recording without permission is strictly prohibited.

Discharge and follow up care

When you are discharged, you may be given referrals to a specialist, information or scripts for medication. With your permission, your doctor may be contacted for further treatment outside of hospital.

Research

Research into ways to improve the health and healthcare of Queenslanders is a priority in the Emergency Department. You may be asked if you would like to participate in research.

Frequently asked questions

If you do not need urgent care, visiting your local doctor or an after-hours medical centre may be an option. This may mean a shorter waiting period and allows you to see the same doctor for better continuity of care.

There are also phone and web services available:

  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) is a Queensland Health hotline for advice on healthcare matters 24 hours a day.
  • Queensland Poisons Information Centre for advice on poisoning incidents 24 hours a day. Phone: 131 126.
  • Lifeline is a confidential crisis support service operating 24 hours a day. Phone: 13 11 14 (calls from mobiles are free).
  • 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55) for mental health assistance.

Certain tests or procedures require patients to fast, which means no eating or drinking. As a general rule, please do not eat or drink before talking to the medical or nursing staff. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from fasting, please speak to staff.

We understand the importance of support from family and friends during this difficult time. Sometimes, we may need to limit the number of visitors in the Emergency Department due to overcrowding. This will ensure your loved one receives the best possible care. You may nominate one family member as the contact person to ensure consistent information is provided.

The National Health Service Directory provides information about which GPs, Pharmacists etc are open now. This can be helpful to identify GPs open in evenings and at weekends.

Go to www.nhsd.com.au, type in your post code or suburb, and Click on “Open Now” tab  to find the services open now in your area. You will need to call if they have any appointments available before visiting them.

Dr James Mayne Building

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Contact us

Location: Ground floor, Dr James Mayne Building
Phone: (07) 3646 8111
Fax: (07) 3646 8732

Patient Liaison Officer
Phone: (07) 3646 8216
Email:

Need help outside hours?

For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.

In an emergency call 000.

Refer a patient

GPs and specialists in the community and in other hospitals can refer a patient by calling the emergency physician “on the floor” via hospital switch on (07) 3646 8111.

A single blood test to revolutionise care—RBWH’s own contributes to study

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) emergency department consultant Associate Professor Louise Cullen is part of a team of researchers who have shown a single blood test could make all the difference to busy emergency departments.

Health professionals

We are one of the busiest Emergency Departments in Queensland, treating patients from the local community, across the state, northern New South Wales and the Pacific Rim.

More than 77,000 patients visit DEM a year, including 2,000 acute trauma cases. Around 27,000 patients are admitted to the hospital from emergency annually.

On busy days, more than 250 patients can present and more than 20 can arrive in an hour. To help care for this many cases, patients are streamed into different areas based on the type of care they need. Some patients are admitted to the 18 bed short stay unit in order to complete tests or treatment.

We work closely with the hospital’s Trauma Service to provide care to victims of road trauma, workplace accidents and other life-threatening injuries. We have a rooftop helipad and two dedicated trauma rooms for these cases.

Research, education and training

Our world leading research program focuses on finding new and better ways to care for our patients. Current research directions include trauma, chest pain assessment and care for the elderly.

We are proud to have a long tradition of educating and training the next generation of doctors, nursing staff and medical professionals in Queensland. Our postgraduate programs for emergency medicine and nursing train future specialists in emergency care.

Contact us or visit our careers page for more information.