The Emergency Department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) is made up of highly trained and experienced staff who treat children and their families during medical emergencies. The Emergency is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

We see 82,000 patients a year in Emergency which averages to one patient every seven minutes. Of this number, more than 15,000 patients are seen in our Trauma Centre. Our ability to promptly respond and care for these children comes from our strong commitment to clinical excellence, education and research.

Our staff treat patients on a priority basis according to the severity of each case. This system is commonly known as triage. 

Vertical Tabs

Our history

While the Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine were formed in the mid-1990s, the history of emergency medicine at the MCH goes back much further. The hospital always had an Emergency department, but with the development of pediatric emergency medicine as a speciality, the department evolved into one staffed by an inter-professional group of nurses and doctors who developed accredited pediatric emergency medicine skills.

The department has consistently adapted to the needs of patients and families. Since the 1990s, the Emergency area has undergone three major renovations and we are now looking forward to the completion of the new Montreal Children’s Hospital on the Glen site.

Our team

The Montreal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department consists of a team of approximately 250 people, made up of administrative staff, nurses, patient care attendants, clerical staff, a nurse manager, assistant head nurses, team leaders, core pediatric emergency medicine physicians, part-time hospital physicians, physicians from the community (specializing in both pediatric and family medicine) and radiology and respiratory technologists.

Every day, around the clock, we are ready to serve children and families from Montreal, its surrounding areas, and other regions of Quebec. We strive to provide the best care possible for every patient.

Where the care happens

The Montreal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department includes 39 care spaces, a modernized trauma bay, an observation area, a facility for sub-acute patients, a dedicated unit for patients with asthma and treatment space for patients with minor injuries and fractures. 


We are very active in regular training and education in pediatric emergency medicine to students and medical professionals. About 250 doctors in training rotate through the department every year, in addition to 160 medical students and 100 nursing students. We also welcome nursing interns every spring, so of whom are eventually hired as staff.

In addition, we are one of the major sites for pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training in Canada. Since 2004, we have trained the largest number of pediatric emergency staff in the country, all of whom have gone on to practice either locally or in other parts of the country. Our program continues to grow and improve every year.

Application procedure

If you are interested in applying for pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, visit the CaRMS web site to consult the application guidelines.

Our research

The Montreal Children’s Emergency Department has many ongoing studies that evaluate clinical care. Some of these include evaluating:

  • The utility of strep throat cultures;
  • How we set broken bones;
  • The use of certain sedative medications when setting broken bones;
  • How we use ultrasound technology;
  • How we communicate amongst ourselves with the aim of improving patient safety.

At the MCH Emergency Department we are constantly striving to improve the care we provide to our patients and their families. Here are several examples of how we’ve met this goal:

  • Brought in bedside ultrasound machines;
  • Reviewed hospital procedures and communication so that we can make diagnoses in a more timely manner;
  • Introduced a Bier Block, an innovative technique to reduce and relieve pain when manipulating fractured limbs;
  • Pursued departmental simulation exercises to enhance our skills and proficiencies;
  • Used real-time data to enhance quality of care.
How triage works

The job of the triage nurse is to assess your child’s condition. The nurse examines every child so a doctor can see injured or very sick children first. Here are some ways you can help the triage nurse:

  • Tell the nurse why you have brought your child to Emergency.
  • Tell the nurse what medications your child takes, what allergies your child has and any information about your child’s medical condition.
  • During winter, remove your child’s coat.

In the Emergency Department, severely ill patients are seen first. All others are seen in order of arrival. 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);à

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).


How to refer a patient

Healthcare providers who need to transfer a patient urgently to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department can call 514-412-4499 and speak to Emergency Department staff on duty. 

Health tip brochures

Consult the following brochures about common health problems in children:

Refer a patient 

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