Emergency Department

Bluewater Health’s emergency departments in Sarnia and Petrolia see over 86,000 patients each year. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. When you or your loved one arrives at a Bluewater Health emergency department, you will be triaged. This helps us decide how quickly you will need care, depending on your condition.

In Sarnia, when you are triaged, you will also be assigned a ‘section’ or area in the department. This again, depends on the type of care you require. This assignment helps ED staff know how serious your condition is, and what they can expect as part of your treatment.

The three sections in the Sarnia Emergency Department are:

Did you know we have many different waiting areas within our Emergency Department, depending on your care needs?  


The Green Zone is for patients who are here with illnesses that require investigation and testing. For example, chest pain (non-cardiac), suspected fracture, cut needing stitches, or minor burns. 


Yellow zone patients often need testing and investigations and may require some type of treatment for their illness. For example, patients presenting with fever, cough, sore-throat, chest congestion and stomach discomforts. 


The Red Zone is for our sickest patients. Patients seen in this area include those with cardiac events including stroke or heart attack. 

In the Petrolia Emergency Department, you may be directed to take a seat in the waiting room or taken directly into the ED, depending on the severity of your illness or injury.

Our goal is for every patient to be seen as quickly as possible. However, sometimes wait times occur due to high patient volumes or a number of very sick patients needing intense or life-saving treatment. If you or your loved one are feeling worse than when you came in, please let the nursing staff know. 

Call your primary care provider first! Your family doctor or nurse practitioner are the best care providers for non-emergencies including the common cold, an ingrown toe nail or a UTI. They know your history and medications, and are your best place for consistent healthcare. If you cannot reach your primary care provider, click here for a list of alternative health care providers/resources in our community.

Narcotics – We do not renew prescriptions for narcotics or controlled substances. All narcotics should be prescribed by your primary care provider, as they know you best. If you do not have a family doctor, please ask the registration clerk for information about how to find one or click here for a list of doctors currently accepting new patients.

Infographic - When should I go to the ED?

Have you been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault?

Bluewater Health’s Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre offers safe, timely and supportive response to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Our specially trained team of doctors and nurses are dedicated to providing comprehensive care for patients who have experienced a recent sexual or domestic assault, 24/7. This service is available to all individuals.

To access services from the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre at Bluewater Health:

Do you or does someone you know need help with an addiction or mental health illness?

Bluewater Health's Mental Health & Addiction Services offers a bedded unit, and a number of outpatient programs and services located both in hospital and community. Addiction Services provides treatment for alcohol, substances and gambling, as well as excessive behaviours such as spending, gaming and internet use both individually and in groups for clients and their families. Community Withdrawal Management offers outpatient and walk-in appointments, as well as assessments and referrals to residential treatment facilities and other community programs. Residential Withdrawal Management is a seven bed non-medical coed-facility for men and women 16 years of age and older. It is a safe space to withdraw from substances.

All services are free of charge and voluntary. No referrals are necessary.

For further information, call 519-332-4673 or go to Bluewater Health’s Mental Health & Addiction Services website - https://www.bluewaterhealth.ca/programs-services/mental-health-addiction-services.

Maps & Directions

Bluewater Health’s programs and services are distributed across two locations, Bluewater Health in Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health in Petrolia. 

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Emergency Care

Bluewater Health’s Emergency Department (ED) provides safe, quality emergency nursing and medical care to patients.

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Mental Health & Addictions Help

If you or a loved one needs support with mental health or addictions.

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Compliments & Concerns

We are always looking for ways to improve, and welcome your questions, comments, suggestions and concerns. If you’re in hospital, please speak to the hospital staff.

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Locate a Patient

Find or contact a patient by telephone, email or e-card.

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