Emergency

If your child is in need of emergency services, even during curfew hours, please do not hesitate to visit our Emergency Department. We will be providing attestation letters to patients and families as needed.

COVID-19

We have transformed our Emergency Department (ED) and have changed the way we work to keep families safe and to continue to provide excellent patient care. Please do not hesitate to come to the ED if you are worried about your child.

Upon arrival to the Emergency Department (ED), you will be asked a series of questions. You will be asked to wash your hands and everyone over 2 years old will be asked to wear a mask (you will be given a mask if you do not have one with you).

Make sure to wear your mask at all times (covering both your nose and mouth), wash your hands regularly and follow the physical distancing guides.

Please limit the number of people that accompany the child. Ideally, only one caregiver should accompany the child but we permit a maximum of two, if necessary. Please do not bring siblings or additional family members.

For more information about COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page.

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About us

The Emergency Department (ED) at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) is a state-of-the-art facility and a designated provincial pediatric trauma centre. We are dedicated to providing best care for acutely and critically ill and injured infants, children and adolescents and their families and to promoting excellence in pediatric emergency medicine through research, education and innovation.

The Emergency Department is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and provides care to more than 75,000 patients every year. We are ready to serve children and families from Montreal, its surrounding areas, and other regions of Quebec.

The ED team is comprised of approximately 200 people, made up of nurses, physicians, patient care attendants, administrative staff, allied healthcare professionals, and radiology and respiratory technologists.

The Montreal Children’s Hospital is affiliated with McGill University and is an academic hospital involved in teaching and research. We provide training for various people who want to be nurses, doctors or other healthcare workers and who work alongside our ED staff to best care for your child.

We also offer three formal courses for healthcare professionals: Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Pediatric Emergency Medicine-Critical Scenarios and Interventions (PEM-CSI), and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC).

Our department is also actively involved in research to improve care in pediatric emergency medicine. You may be approached to participate in a research study while you are in our department however your child’s care by the ED team will not be affected by whether you agree to participate in the research study or not.

What to expect when you come to the ED

Triage

Our staff treat patients on a priority basis according to the severity of each case. The Emergency Department does not function on a first come, first serve basis. Rather, the policy is that the sickest patients are seen first. This system is known as “triage “which is a dynamic process. The job of the triage nurse is to assess your child’s condition based on obtaining information from the patient and/or caregivers and on the assessment of the child/youth’s appearance, breathing, circulation and mental health status. Since the priority of patients may change and waiting times will vary, the ED staff is not able to provide the wait time. 

In order to determine the priority for your child, the triage nurse uses the Canadian Paediatric Triage and Acuity Scale:

  1. Resuscitation: Requiring immediate emergency intervention (e.g. respiratory arrest)
  2. Emergent: Requiring rapid medical intervention (e.g. a newborn with fever)
  3. Urgent: A condition that could potentially progress to a serious illness requiring emergency intervention (e.g. moderate asthma)
  4. Less urgent: Requiring medical attention in the next few hours (e.g. an earache)
  5. Non-urgent: Children presenting with problems of a non-urgent nature. (e.g. pink eye)

Here are some ways you can help the triage nurse:

  • Tell the nurse why you have brought your child to the Emergency Department
  • Tell the nurse what medications your child takes, what allergies your child has and any information about your child’s previous and current medical conditions.
  • During the winter, remove your child’s coat so that the nurse can properly evaluate your child

Registration

Once you have been evaluated by the nurse, you will be asked to register. You will be asked questions such as your address, name of your primary care physician and your telephone number. Please ensure that this information is accurate since the ED staff may need to contact you. You will also be asked for your health insurance card or other health insurance information.

Waiting Room

If an exam room is not available, you will be asked to wait in the waiting room. The triage nurse may provide you with specific instructions which are important to follow. The waiting time will vary depending on multiple factors including the significance of your child’s illness or injury, the number of patients in the department and the degree of severity of the illnesses and injuries of patients in the department.   

Please be aware that even though the department might appear quiet, there could be very sick children being cared for by many of the Emergency Department staff.

While waiting, if you feel that your child’s condition has worsened, please let a member of our ED team know immediately.

Exam room and tests

Your child will be evaluated in an exam room as soon as possible. If your child needs tests or needs an evaluation by another specialist, you may be asked to return to the waiting room to wait for the tests to be done or for the specialist to arrive. After the tests, you may be asked to return to the waiting room while waiting for the test results.

What you should bring when you come to the ED
  • Your health card  or other health insurance information
  • Your child’s medication
  • Specialized equipment that is used by your child
  • Specialized formula used by your child
  • Any tubes or devices needed to care for your child
  • Diapers, if applicable
  • Items to occupy your child’s time such as books and toys
  • Snacks for you and your child – however, before your child eats or drinks anything, please ask the ED staff if you child is permitted to eat or drink in case they require an empty stomach for a test or a procedure.
  • Chargers for your electronic devices
Refer a patient 

Room number : B S1.3300, Glen site
Phone : 514-412-4499
Fax : 514-412-4217