We see 82,000 patients a year in our Emergency Room 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.

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.

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

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);

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).