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Classification levels

The classification method used by the triage nurse in order to determine your child’s priority level is based on a five-level scale according to the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS).

The 5-level CTAS does not allow for a guaranteed waiting time because of unforeseen circumstances.

Classification levels


Requires immediate response
A child whose condition is life-threatening and requires immediate response.


Requires a quick response
A child whose condition requires a quick medical response.


Response is necessary
A child whose health condition requires a quick medical response while allowing for a certain delay.


Response is preferable
A child whose health condition is stable yet requires medical advice.


May be directed to another resource
A child with a chronic or benign health condition.

  • Should the triage nurse determine that your child’s health condition is a level 5 priority, the waiting time may be long.
  • You may want to ask about alternative medical resources. Should you choose to leave the emergency room prior to having been seen by a doctor, please inform the nurse, who will hand you back your blue card. She will also be able to provide advice as well as recommend alternative medical resources.

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About this page
Updated on 5/14/2015
Created on 7/10/2014
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