Emergency Care

Do you need emergency care?

Call 9-1-1 if you or a loved one is experiencing a medical emergency.

When is it an Emergency?

It can be confusing sometimes to decide when your medical condition warrants a trip to the emergency department. Some examples of major illness or injury which constitute a trip to the emergency department are:
  • breathing problems
  • heart problems
  • fainting
  • sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision
  • continuous bleeding
  • coughing up or vomiting blood
  • poisoning or drug overdose
  • severe burns, cuts, punctures or bites
  • severe or persistent vomiting
  • chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • change in mental status (such as confusion or difficulty waking or unusual behavior)

When in doubt, come immediately to the emergency department.

Triage

When you enter the emergency department, the first step will be triage. Triage is a process that makes sure that patients with the most serious needs are treated first. The emergency department is unable to treat patients on a first-come, first-served basis, so please be patient. The triage nurse will ask about your symptoms, take your vital signs and ask for a short medical history. The nurse will then classify patients according to need:
  • Emergent- patients who have a life-threatening illness or injury
  • Urgent - patients who are in stable condition, but need help as soon as possible
  • Non-urgent - patients who have minor problems or chronic complaints