emergency care

What Takes So Long

What is taking so long?

We really want to help you ASAP. Even more, we want to save lives. That means we must see patients based on how life-threatening or severe their condition is.

Your wait may be saving someone’s life.

Triage: Sorting to save lives

Here is the order in which we see you.

  • Level 1: Life-threatening emergency
    Unstable patient, heart or breathing trouble, major bleeding
  • Level 2: High-risk/severe emergency
    Unstable patient, potentially life-threatening
  • Level 3: Stable emergency
    Stable patient in need of emergency care
  • Level 4: Less urgent
    Stable patient with injury or illness that needs attention within hours
  • Level 5: Not urgent
    Stable patient with minor illness or injury

NOTE: If your symptoms change during your wait, let us know immediately.

While you wait, we work

While you wait, we work. After you’ve been seen, you may still have to wait while we use a network of hospital services to help us diagnose and treat you. Things happening behind the scenes while you wait could include:

  • Laboratory is running tests.
  • Imaging is being checked by a specially trained medical doctor.
  • Specialists are being called for your specific condition.
  • A hospital bed is being prepared for you.
  • Medication or other treatments are being arranged.