I'm Headed to the Emergency Department > for an Emergency!


CHUS Emergencies

If your condition is urgent
Reception procedure
Priority levels
Instructions and signage
Arriving by ambulance
Gastroenteritis and influenza
Advice for Parents
Food Services

Don’t hesitate to come to the emergency department even if there are many people already there. You will be seen by a physician.

> For health conditions considered URGENT


Waiting times in emergency

It is impossible to predict the waiting time in the ED. The traffic in both emergencies varies from hour to hour.

To fill this waiting period, bring a book or magazine.

If you are accompanying a baby or child, bring diapers, milk and a toy or two.

Coughing and have a fever?

> Upon arriving at the CHUS, follow these guidelines !

You accompany someone to the emergency room ?

> Read the Accompaniment to the Emergency sheet to know how you may help



 Medical clinic

If your condition is LESS URGENT

You can go to your nearest medical clinic.

> To know the healths considered as LESS URGENT

Unless complications, the majority of these viruses can be cured in a few days at home without using emergency services.

Before you go to an emergency, make sure your symptoms are worrying enough!


Retour de voyage à l'étranger

Si vous devez vous présentez à l'urgence avec des symptômes de fièvre ou de toux et que vous avez voyagé dans l'un des pays identifiés ci-dessous, prenez note des mesures à respecter dès votre arrivée à l'urgence, ceci en guise de prévention des infections.

Pays | Arabie Saoudite • Bangladesh • Barhein • Cambodge • Chine • Corée • Égypte • Émirats arabes unis • France • Grèce • Hong Kong • Inde • Indiana (États-Unis) • Indonésie • Irak • Iran • Israël • Italie • Jordanie • Koweit • Laos • Liban • Lybie • Malaisie • Népal • Oman • Pays-Bas • Qatar • Royaume-Uni • Syrie • Territoires palestiniens • Tunisie • Vietnam • Yémen


Arrival at the emergency department

You will be assessed by a triage nurse

The triage nurse will ask questions regarding your condition. She will also take the vital signs relevant to your symptoms (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, breathing rate, pain tolerance level). This information will help the nurse determine the level of urgency of your medical condition.

Depending on the severity of your condition, the nurse will immediately take you to an evaluation room OR redirect you to the waiting room. An attendant will call you to register you.

If your condition worsens while you're waiting

Immediately notify the triage nurse or the registration attendant. A nurse will re-assess your condition and inform the medical team should you need prompt care.

A physician will examine you

You will be examined based on :

    • the urgency of the care you require (PRIORITY LEVEL) and not based on what time you arrived;
  • the number of patients on stretchers already in the waiting room. 

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Priority levels in the emergency department

No matter how many people in the emergency room, patients whose medical condition requires immediate care (stop or heart attack, children with severe asthma, etc..) are given priority.


Level 1 (Blue) | A person with a life-threatening medical condition that requires immediate resuscitation.

Examples: major trauma, a person in shock or in a coma, etc.

Level 2 (Red) | A person with a serious medical condition requiring prompt attention.

Examples: severe trauma, a person with severe abdominal or chest pains, having difficulty breathing (heart attack), etc.

Level 3 (Yellow) | A person with a significant medical condition that could put him or her at risk but that is not life threatening.

Examples: a person with a fracture, a person showing signs of infection, etc.

Level 4 (Green) | A person with a medical condition that does not require immediate care.

Examples: a person with acute abdominal pain, chest pain, or experiencing a minor allergic reaction, etc.

Level 5 (White) | A person with a minor medical condition who should instead visit a medical clinic or a CLSC.

Examples: a person showing signs of a urinary tract infection or gastroenteritis, or with a bad cold, etc.

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Instruction and signage

Posters outlining instructions are placed in CHUS emergency and waiting rooms. It is important to respect the instructions for the health of all.

Fièvre et toux

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If I arrive by ambulance, will I be seen sooner?

ONLY if your condition is URGENT!

If you are not an urgent case, you will go through the same process as everyone else. You may even be sent to the waiting room. 

> For health conditions considered URGENT

Ambulance | Useful information

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Gastroenteritis and influenza

Gastroenteritis, influenza (better known as the flu), and colds are viral diseases. It’s important to be able to tell them apart. 


We recommend going to the emergency department only if necessary.


Before visiting the emergency department, check to see if your symptoms are enough of a concern.

Unless complications arise, most of these viruses can be treated at home over a few days without the need for emergency services. 


To know better the seasonal flu, consult the web site of Ministry of Health and social services of Quebec.


Advice of the Government of Quebec | Gastroenteritis and influenza
  • In the absence of symptoms of high levels of toxicity (problems with alertness, inability to walk, confusion, convulsions), it is recommended that Info-Santé be called at 8-1-1. A qualified health care professional will provide sound advice and indicate whether a medical consultation is required. 
  • If a consultation is recommended, it is advised that the patient go to a doctor’s office or walk-in clinic since the vast majority of individuals will not require laboratory tests or specialized medical treatment. If the attending physician identifies a more serious condition, he or she will direct the person to the closest hospital centre for the proper tests and treatment. 
  • In the case of a high level of toxicity (lack of alertness despite treatment for fever, inability to drink or eat for several hours, inability to walk or stand, sudden confusion, convulsions), going to the emergency department is recommended

SOURCE • Quebec portal | Governmental News | News Services | January, 2011 | Grippe et gastro-entérite : rappel des consignes de base

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Advice for parents

When you accompany your child to the emergency department, please provide the triage nurse with the following information:

  • A list of your child’s daily medications, including natural health products and vitamins
  • The exact quantity (in ml) and the time when acetaminophens (Tylenol or Tempra), ibuprofens (Advil or Motrin), or antibiotics were administered to your child before your arrival at the emergency department
  • Your child’s known allergies.



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