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Emergency Department


Quinte Health Emergency Care

Quinte Health hospitals provide 24-hour access to care for people experiencing trauma or sudden illness. We have Emergency Departments at our hospitals located in Belleville, Picton, Bancroft and Trenton.  For critical or life-threatening conditions call 9-1-1, or go immediately to your nearest hospital emergency department (ED) if you or someone you love requires immediate medical attention.

When should I visit the Emergency Department?

Wait times in our emergency departments can be long. Quinte Health is experiencing an extreme increase in the number of patients at all four hospitals. Our hospitals are significantly impacted by the current province-wide staffing shortages, including nurses and physicians.  At times, we have to decrease the number of patients we bring into the emergency room at a time if we have fewer staff available during that shift.   

Please refer to the helpful infographic below to determine if the Emergency Department is the right place to receive the right care based on the symptoms you are experiencing. 

If your condition requires non-emergency medical assistance, read this important information so you know where to go.

Go to the nearest Emergency Department for these and other emergencies:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath when doing very little or resting.
  • Severe stomach pain.
  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest.
  • Continuous vomiting or severe diarrhea with signs of dehydration.
  • A broken bone or wound that may require stitches.
  • Seizures or convulsions.
  • Stiff neck or sensitivity to light.
  • Confusion or disorientation.
  • Infants under one month old with a temperature over 38C (100.4F) or children with fever over 38.3C (101F) and is difficult to wake.
  • A mental health emergency such as acute psychosis or mania. Individuals having thoughts of self-harm or harming others can call crisis intervention at 1-888-757-7766.

What to expect when you come to the ED 

  • Patients requiring hospital care are prioritized in the emergency department based on the seriousness of their condition, not the order of when they arrived in the department.    
  • Every patient coming into an emergency department starts receiving care the moment they meet the triage nurse. The triage nurse is specialty trained to conduct that important first assessment to see how critical the patient’s condition is. It’s that “triage” assessment that determines the order patients are seen within the department.
  • Our teams respond first to the most critically ill patients. That means patients that aren’t facing imminent, life-threatening issues will wait for longer periods of time. Read about the  Fit to Sit program.
  • Those with non-urgent issues may experience a longer wait and we recommend they come with reading material or a device to help pass the time.  
  • We understand that patients waiting can feel terrible and uncomfortable – but in the hospital setting, we must care for the most timely and grave health issues first.  
  • We ask for everyone’s patience at this time and for your continued support and respect for our teams.

We welcome your feedback. Please fill out our patient feedback form.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Emergency Department