Know Your Options

Consider your choices before coming to an emergency department in the Cypress Health Region.

A graphic showing people waiting in the line of an emergency department with varying levels of health conditions.


Utilizing an emergency department correctly means that you are helping those who need critical care the most.

It is important to remember how busy emergency departments can be. Many of those that seek medical attention require medical assistance which is sometimes related to life or death situations. This means that even though you are waiting, another patient may be seen before you.

A medical emergency means a sudden onset of a condition with acute symptoms requiring immediate medical care and includes conditions such as:

  • heart attacks
  • cardiovascular accidents (stroke)
  • poisonings
  • loss of consciousness or respiration
  • convulsions or
  • other such acute medical conditions

The Cypress Health Region uses the Canadian Triage and Acuity Standards as an emergency ranking guideline. All patients are triaged according to these standards based on the clinical information received when a patient enters the emergency department.

When a patient comes to the emergency department for assistance, priority will always be given to those ranking highest in the CTAS.

Triage 1 – Resuscitation
Triage 2 – Emergent
Triage 3 – Urgent
Triage 4 – Less Urgent
Triage 5 – Non Urgent

If you have a non-emergent medical concern that should be reviewed by a physician, many opportunities exist other than the emergency department.

Family physician clinics exist throughout the Cypress Health Region, many of which are presently accepting new patients. You are encouraged to visit your family physician in a non-emergency medical situation.

Having a family physician is encouraged so that you can establish a relationship with a family physician. If you are unable to access your own family physician or a physician in the the same clinic, you may use the service of a physician in an alternate clinic. A record of your visit will be forwarded to your family physician.

Visiting a clinic when appropriate will ensure more continuity of care for patients and will also help alleviate the pressures placed on the emergency department due to overcrowding.