Do I need to go to the emergency department?

If your life (or that of a relative) is in danger, or if your health condition requires immediate care, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.

Here are examples of urgent health problems requiring a visit to the emergency department:

  • Severe chest pain and difficulty breathing (possible stroke);
  • Severe abdominal pain;
  • Fracture;
  • Worsening signs of an infection such as the flu or gastroenteritis:
    • Inability to eat or drink for several hours;
    • Difficulty walking or standing;
    • Difficulty staying awake;
    • Convulsions.

For a child, a visit the emergency department is recommended in the following cases:

  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Injury with fracture or requiring stitches;
  • Child under three months old with a fever over 38°C;
  • Feverish and very sleepy child;
  • Skin rash and skin that does not turn white when you apply pressure on it;
  • Child with diarrhea and vomiting, with no tears, a very dry mouth and not having urinated at least two or three times in the past 24 hours.

To determine if your health problem is urgent, call Info-Santé at 8-1-1.
A nurse will ask you questions about your condition, will advise you and direct you to the appropriate department. Info-Santé is available 24 hours a day.

If you need to go to the emergency department, remember that the waiting time depends on the severity of your condition and that of other patients. When you arrive, the triage nurse will examine you to assess your health condition and determine the severity level.

If your health problem is not urgent, contact:

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