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Emergency & Trauma

Help is Available 24 Hours a Day

Emergency and trauma medicine professionals at CHI St. Alexius Health take pride in delivering quality service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in a timely, efficient and safe manner.

Our team includes board-certified emergency medicine specialists, nurses trained in emergency and critical care and skilled health professionals who are called upon as needed. We care for our patients using a teamwork approach which includes caring, dedicated, competent professionals and state-of-the-art treatment, technology and equipment and by giving superior customer service.

Our hospitals’ Emergency Departments attend to all emergencies including heart attacks and strokes. Upon each patient’s arrival, a triage process (to assess the degree of urgency) determines the order in which all patients are seen and the most efficient care plan.

For information on the North Dakota Health Insurance Regulation Regarding Air Ambulance Services and the North Dakota Air Ambulance Participation Guide, visit

Our Locations

Emergency and Level II Trauma Center

Should the worst happen, the region’s best emergency care stands ready at CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck, a Level II Trauma Center.

From heart attacks and strokes to complex traumas – time is always of the essence. Choose the hospital that has everything you need for any emergency with 24/7 services, including:

  • Cath Lab for Cardiac Services
  • Radiology/Diagnostic Lab
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Cardiology
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • Pulmonology
  • Pediatric Unit

Our team stands ready to care for you. We’ve been honored to serve the Bismarck-Mandan area for over 148 years!

Why Patients Choose Us for Emergency Care?

  • We are a 24/7 Level II Trauma center able to care for ALL injured patients
  • Staffed by LOCAL board-certified emergency physicians and staff
  • Convenient parking for patients and guests, including a drive-thru ambulance bay for patients

North Dakota's First Level II Trauma Center

In 1993, CHI St. Alexius Health became the first Level II Trauma Center in the State of North Dakota.  A Level II Trauma Center must include 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage in the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, and critical care. Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance and be re-evaluated every three years.  The Team at St. Alexius Emergency Department is proud to  continue serving the community over the last 30 years as a Trauma Center.

Emergency Department or Urgent Care?

Know before you go! Many Emergency Department visits could also be handled at a Urgent Care. Use this guide to decide which type of care is best for you.

  • Open 7 Days a Week, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Urgent Care provides easy access to quality health care for illnesses or injuries that are non-life-threatening but can’t wait until the next day.

Common Reasons to Visit the Emergency Department

Our general approach in the emergency department is as follows:

  1. Rule out life threats
  2. Treat symptoms
  3. Diagnose cause if possible
  4. Decide the next steps for treatment and referral if needed. Most patients are referred back to primary care to ensure improvement in symptoms and for follow-up testing if needed. Some patients will be referred to a specialist to be seen on an outpatient basis. 

Our primary concern: excluding conditions like heart attacks, injuries to the aorta, blood clots in the lungs, infections, and other serious conditions. 

Typical tests: EKG, Chest xray, blood work. Evaluation may include CT scans if symptoms warrant one.

Typical ER visit time: Time in the ER may be short but up to 5 hours is not uncommon if repeat blood work is required to ensure you are not having a heart attack

Medications administered: may include aspirin, nitroglycerin, pain or nausea medications, antibiotics

Questions we will ask:

  • When did your symptoms start?
  • What were you doing when it started?
  • Have you had chest pain before, and if yes, what was it associated with?
  • Has anyone in your family had a heart attack?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Have you traveled recently?

Our primary concern: ruling out life threats and surgical pathology. Conditions we look for include appendicitis, diverticulitis, kidney stones, pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, bowel obstruction, others.

Medications administered: pain medications, nausea medications, fluids

Typical tests: Lab work including blood and urine, EKG, CT scans

Typical ER visit time: 3-4 hours, depending on symptoms and tests ordered may be shorter

Our primary concern: ruling out life threats. Conditions we look for include respiratory failure, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, heart failure, heart attack.

Common diagnoses: viral respiratory infections, muscle strains, asthma or copd

Typical time in the ER: 1-3 or more hours

Medications administered: Oxygen, inhaled medications like albuterol, steroids, antibiotics

Our primary concern: ruling our life threats. Conditions we look for include aneurysm, bleed, infection, stroke.

Common diagnoses: tension headache, migraine, cluster headaches, viral syndromes

Typical tests: Usually not required based on history and exam, though some patients will require CT scans or MRI scans; labs may be helpful depending on history and individual patient circumstances

Typical treatments: pain medications, anti-inflammatories, nausea medications, steroids, fluids

Typical time in the ER: Usually about 1-2 hours, depending on response to treatment and testing


Our primary goal: stabilize injuries for definitive management. Make sure there are no fractures that would require surgery. Repair wounds. 

Common diagnoses: fracture, dislocation, sprain, strain

Typical tests: xray, rarely CT scan, MRI generally not done for ligamentous injuries

CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington is a North Dakota Department of Health designated Level V Trauma Center and a North Dakota Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.

CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake offers 24/7 emergency care.

CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson is a Level IV Trauma Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons and The Joint Commission.

CHI St. Alexius Health Garrison offers 24/7 emergency care.

CHI St. Alexius Health Turtle Lake is a Level V Emergency Department that provides emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

CHI St. Alexius Health Williston is a Level IV Trauma Center and Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designated by the North Dakota Department of Health. Trauma certified emergency medicine physicians are in-house 24 hours a day, and our nurses are trained to provide the highest level of trauma care available in our region.

Emergency Department or Urgent Care?

Know before you go! Many Emergency Department visits could also be handled at a Urgent Care. Use this guide to decide which type of care is best for you.