UnityPoint Health - Blank Children's Hospital Emergency Department



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For life-threatening conditions that require emergency medical care, call 911.

Emergency Care at Blank Children's Hospital

The emergency medicine team at Blank Children's Hospital specializes in meeting the unique needs of children and families during medical emergencies. We are dedicated to caring for babies, children and teens. Our emergency department was the first Level II Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, verified by the American College of Surgeons, and is open 24 hours a day to provide emergency care.

Our team recognizes how stressful an illness or injury can be, not only to your child but also to your family. You know your child best, so we will include you as we assess and treat your child. In addition to doctors and nurses, our team includes social workers and Child Life specialists to help you during your child's emergency. Our goal is to provide the highest level of care during an unplanned and often stressful experience. Our emergency specialists work together with pediatric specialists at Blank Children's Hospital to provide the most comprehensive care possible.

Hours & Directions

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours
  • Sunday: Open 24 hours

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Emergency Department Features

  • Dedicated hallway for pediatric patients specially designed with colors and images just for kids
  • 12 pediatric treatment rooms filled with state-of-the-art technology and more space for families (one room is for isolation situations)
  • Private family consultation rooms for physicians to discuss prognosis and outcomes
  • Six express care patient areas for pediatric patients who need care in the emergency department but can be assessed quicker to deliver care and better utilize specialty resources
  • Specialized Sexual Assault Room that will provide a safe, private space where victims can receive care and the specialized services provided by the Sexual Assault Team
  • Transfer Center in-house staffed by trained medical professionals to streamline transfers into our hospitals
  • An outpatient pharmacy conveniently located near the emergency department so patients and families can obtain a prescription before they leave the hospital
  • CT scanner and imaging located within the emergency department
  • Enhanced security measures for patients, families and staff to ensure safety

In addition to providing the best possible medical care, we also provide emotional, spiritual and social support to our patients and families through chaplain services, Child Life specialists, social workers and our volunteers.

Pediatric Level II Trauma Care

Whether it's a broken arm, stitches or a life threatening injury, our highly experienced staff and state-of-the-art technology ensures every child is in good hands. Not only is Blank Children's emergency department designed to specifically care for children ages 0-18 years old, but we're also verified to care for the most serious pediatric trauma cases, ranging from major vehicle accidents to bike injuries. Blank Children's integrated pediatric trauma team brings together surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, radiologists, physician specialists, pediatricians, social workers and Child Life specialists who are specifically trained to treat critically injured children.

Pediatric-Specific Medical Care

In addition to having trained staff readily available to respond to the most critical pediatric traumas, Blank Children's also offers pediatric-specific technology, medical equipment and transport services designed to meet each child's emergency needs. This includes a pediatric intensive care unit, as well as a dedicated Neonatal Transport Team and Pediatric Transport Team with the ability to dispatch by ground in the one-of-a-kind Neonatal & Pediatric Critical Care Ambulance or by air in the LifeFlight helicopter.

Transport Teams

Neonatal Transport Team

The Blank Children's Neonatal Transport Team features highly-trained and experienced nurses who provide specialized and expert care for ill infants. Care begins with arrival at the referring facility and continues throughout transport and admission to our Regional Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our team works to stabilize the infant's condition prior to traveling while the nurse is in communication with the neonatologists. Ongoing communication is provided to the parents and referring facility until the family can be reunited with their infant. Under certain circumstances, the mom may be transferred with her infant.

Pediatric Transport Team

The Blank Children's Pediatric Transport Team features highly-trained and experienced nurses who are available to help in the stabilization and transport of critically-ill or injured patients. The team maintains contact with physicians at Blank Children's Hospital throughout the transport. This provides the opportunity to relay pertinent patient information so the receiving unit is prepared for the child in order to provide the best care possible. Care is compassionate, professional and based on principles of family-centered care as the needs of the family are considered and met with respect and support during these difficult times. Research shows that pediatric patients transported by specialty teams have fewer unplanned events in transport, including less likelihood of an airway issue, cardiopulmonary arrest and loss of intravenous access. The study results also show less likelihood of mortality in patients transported via pediatric specialty teams.

Neonatal & Pediatric Critical Care Ambulance

The Neonatal & Pediatric Critical Care Ambulance is the only one of its kind in the region. It allows for our specialized Neonatal Transport Team and Pediatric Transport Team to bring critical care to infants, children and adolescents across the state. The ambulance offers enough space to transport more than one patient and family members. In emergency situations, the ambulance can operate independently of the engine with a generator for more than 24 hours. The ambulance was made possible by community support and through a leadership gift from Variety - The Children's Charity.

What Type of Appointment Do I Need?

Primary Care

Primary Care encompasses the comprehensive treatment of a number of diseases in symptoms and specialties including pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine. Rather than specializing in one particular area of medicine, the physician is trained to meet all the needs of patients as one point of contact. Examples of symptoms and conditions treated by a primary care provider can include:

  • Minor medical problems and injuries
  • Physicals/Sports Physicals
  • Medicine Checks
  • Long Term Care
  • Medication Refill
  • Ongoing Symptoms (ex: Continued Back Pain)
  • Care or Treatment Planning
  • Disease Management
  • Managing Existing Conditions (Migraines, Depression, Anxiety, Arthritis, etc.)
  • Substance Abuse
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes and obesity
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Skin problems
Walk-In Care

Urgent Care and Express treat minor medical problems and injuries that are not life-threatening, but need the attention of a health care provider. These are not an alternative to the emergency room, but offer the ability to get walk-in care without an appointment for all patient ages. Urgent Care is available after hours, weekends and holidays. Our Urgent Care Clinics can provide medical treatment for minor illness and injuries such as:

  • Allergies
  • Burns
  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Cuts (Stitches)
  • Earaches or Ear Infections
  • Fevers
  • Minor Medical Problems and Injuries
  • Minor Eye Care
  • Flu
  • Fractures (X-Ray On-Site at Most Locations)
  • Infections
  • Sore Throats
  • Sprains, Including Sprained Ankles (X-Ray On-Site at Most Locations)
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Yeast Infections
  • Certain Rapid Tests

Please note: Flu shots, physicals and/or sports physicals are not offered at every walk-in care location.

*If you are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, please go to the Emergency Department or call 911 immediately. For less serious medical issues, such as physicals, medication refills or to leave a message for your primary care doctor, you can access your My UnityPoint patient portal 24/7!

Virtual Care

Connect with a UnityPoint Health provider online using MyUnityPoint to access virtual urgent care or SmartExam. Virtual care doctors can diagnose, recommend treatment and prescribe medication when necessary for commonly treated conditions. Available every day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for individuals 2 years and older located in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Virtual care should be used for minor, common ailments and illnesses. Some examples, and the qualifying age to receive virtual care or SmartExam for that condition, include: 

Condition Virtual Urgent Care SmartExam
Acne 2+ 2+
Burn 2+ 2+
Cold/Flu 2+ 2+
Cold Sores 13+ 18+
Constipation 2+ 18+
Cough/Upper Respiratory Infection 2+ 18+
Diarrhea 2+ 18+
Fever 2+ 18+
Head Lice 2+ 2+
Heartburn 2+ 18+
Headache/Migraine 18+ 18+
Joint Pan 2+ 18+
Rash 2+ 18+
Red Eye 2+ 2+
Sinuses 2+ 2+
Sore Throat 2+ 18+
Urinary Tract Infection 13+ (female only) 18+
Vaginal Infection (yeast/bacterial vaginosis) 18+ 18+
Vomiting 2+ 18+

Emergency Care

Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for severe or life-threatening conditions. Conditions that require emergency care include excessive bleeding, broken bones, chest pain or trouble breathing. Emergency services include diagnostic testing and access to specialists. 

Examples of symptoms and conditions treated by emergency departments can include:

  • Symptoms of a heart attack, including severe chest pain, sweating and shortness of breath.
  • Profuse bleeding or blood loss that continues even after direct pressure has been placed on the wound.
  • Severe abdominal pain.
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, loss of coordination, balance or vision problems, which are signs of stroke.
  • High fever and vomiting that continues nonstop for several hours.
  • Signs of meningitis for adults: severe headaches, neck/joint pain and stiffness, vomiting, high temperature, sensitivity to light or babies and small children: high-pitched whimpering/crying, lethargy, fussiness, restlessness, high fever, vomiting, cold extremities, refusing food, pale or blotchy skin.
  • Seizures lasting longer than five minutes.
  • Injuries occurring from an accident or fall - intense back or neck pain, obvious compound fractures and/or dislocations of bones, deep cuts and severe burns.