Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital activated Code Orange protocols to bring in more staff on Monday evening in response to a two-vehicle crash that injured four people in Tracadie Cross.
The Code Orange was called at 6:20 p.m. and stayed in place until 8:45 p.m.
Additional resources were needed to deal with the victims at the hospital's emergency department, according to a release from the province. Both frontline and support staff who were not scheduled to work responded by coming in, said the release.
RCMP told CBC News a serious accident on Blooming Point Road forced the closure of the highway at Tracadie Cross at 5:20 p.m.
Police said they believe a car with one person in it crossed the line and hit another vehicle, containing three people.
The driver of the first car was sent to hospital with critical injuries. He had surgery and is now stable.
The three people in the other vehicle went to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The accident came at a particularly busy time in the emergency department.
At 3:45 p.m., Health P.E.I.'s website showed more than 90 people in the emergency department, including 55 in the waiting room still awaiting treatment. The estimated wait was longer than 10 hours for everyone — including 15 people classified as most urgent.
The Code Orange news release noted P.E.I. emergency departments are busy with COVID-19 cases, and short staffing is also putting a strain on the system.
"Please be patient and expect longer wait times. Staff are doing everything possible to provide care safely under difficult circumstances," said Health P.E.I. CEO Dr. Michael Gardam.
"Please be respectful to these staff, who are working so hard."
Gardam also thanked the staff who came in to the hospital in response to the Code Orange.