Emergency medicine is a clinical specialty that provides comprehensive and effective treatment to patients that visit the emergency department. In Korea, the 1988 Seoul Olympics provided a momentum for a national emergency medical system to be built. After major accidents during the mid 1990's such as the collapse of the Sampoong department store, the importance and promptness of emergency medical care became evident and has been rapidly developing with the full support of the government.
The Department of Emergency Medicine in Seoul National University Hospital, established in February 1996, consists of fifteen faculty members, seven emergency medicine fellows, and approximately 33 full-time emergency medicine residents and sees approximately 70,000 patients annually.
Seoul National University Hospital Emergency Center was rebuilt and designated on 2004. The center has 40 beds for adults and 6 beds for children and sees more than 180 patients daily. In addition, the center operates an intensive care unit and an inpatient ward, allowing continuous inpatient care for patients.
To provide efficient and systematic emergency care, emergency medicine specialists are available 24 hours and are responsible for the management of not only cardiac arrest, poisoning, trauma and other emergencies but all medical and surgical conditions. In addition, for time sensitive diseases such as myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease and multiple trauma, appropriate specialists are consulted for prompt definitive management.
At Seoul National University Emergency Center, an general surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, neurosurgeon, and trauma surgeons are participate in patient care for a more systematic and definite care. In addition, Seoul National University Children's Hospital's pediatric emergency room is separate from the adult emergency center, and the faculties are qualified for pediatric emergency care.