Our Emergency Department is currently undergoing some renovations. Although patient care will not be impacted, you may hear unexpected noise or notice areas under construction, from September 13 until October 25. During this time, we remain committed to maintaining the same high level of comfort and quality of care for all our patients.


If you or a loved one is in a life threatening situation, dial 911 or go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department. If you are unsure whether it is an emergency, you may call Telehealth Ontario, a free telephone service from the Ontario Government at 1-866-797-0000 and speak with one of their nurses or you should visit your closest Emergency Department.

Exterior view of QCH Emergency Department

Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are the busiest Emergency Department in eastern Ontario, serving almost 70,000 patients annually. Over 15% of the patients we treat in the ED are children.

We hope the information provided on this page will help you understand what you may expect if you have to come to the Emergency Department.


Every effort will be made to serve you as quickly as possible. There may be times when your visit or wait to see a care provider in the ED may be delayed due to a high number of patients seeking medical attention.

What to Bring

  • Your Ontario Health Card
  • Your list of current medications
  • Please leave any valuable items at home

What to Expect

Upon arrival in the ED, all patients are assessed by a Triage Nurse who will evaluate how quickly you need to be seen and treated. This process is known as “triage”. Triage is a system to identify the sickest patients so they can be seen first. The Triage Nurse will make their assessment based on a history of your illness or injury and a review of your vital signs.

While You Are Waiting

  • If your condition changes and you begin to feel worse, tell the Triage Nurse immediately.
  • Do not leave the ED without first telling the Triage Nurse. It is important that your illness, injury or condition be assessed before you leave.
  • Do not eat or drink anything until you ask the Triage Nurse as some tests cannot be done if you have had anything to eat or drink.
  • Please leave small children at home in someone else's care.
  • Have only one family member or friend wait with you.
  • Do not use your cell phone in the hospital. Use the public telephone in the Emergency Department if you need to call someone.


The Emergency Department does not function on a first-come, first-served basis. There may be times that someone who arrived after you is treated first.

The Triage Nurse uses a tool called the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). Some examples include:

Level 1 – resuscitation: obviously life threatening:

  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Coma
  • Blocked airway

Level 2 – emergent: conditions with a potential threat to life or limb:

  • Chest pain suggestive of heart problems
  • Severe bleeding

Level 3 – urgent: a condition or serious problem requiring emergency intervention:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney stone

Level 4 – less urgent: conditions which because of distress or potential for complications would benefit from intervention:

  • Bladder infections
  • Lacerations

Level 5 – non-urgent: conditions which are non-urgent and/or which might be part of a chronic problem:

  • Diarrhea
  • Insect bites
  • Dressing changes

Information on Miscarriages
Ottawa Walk In Clinics
Instruction for patients returning to ED for Ultrasound/CT Scan
Information regarding narcotics and prescription renewals in Emergency Department
Diabetes programs and services in Ottawa