Have a sports injury that needs to be looked at urgently? Wait at home, not in the ER tufts medical center logowaiting room.
As Social Boston Sports members, we’re active and out playing in the city every week. Injuries happen and when they do, none of us like that long wait in a Boston ER waiting room before we’re seen by a doctor. Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children have a new online app to make that waiting time easier.
If you have an urgent (but not life-threatening) medical need, such as a possible broken bone or torn muscle, you can use their online service to check in for an estimated treatment time. Then, you can wait in the comfort of your own home and go to the ER at your scheduled time.
Tufts MC tells us that the service launched in the spring and has gotten a great response so far. One patient wrote, “Excellent, thorough, attentive, quick. All-around impressed with the hospital staff and system. Would never visit the ER (for a non-life-threatening Barnewolt_Brien_300x400pxcondition) again without it.” You can check out more testimonials on the Tufts MC ER on their website.
We asked Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Brien Barnewolt, a few
questions about sports injuries and the app:
For sports injuries, how do I know when I should go to the ER versus toughing it out?
Most minor injuries improve significantly or resolve in 48-72 hours and do not limit range of motion or the activities of daily living such as dressing, eating and bathing. If your injury limits these activities and is not improving, it may be time to see a physician.
What types of sports injuries do you see most commonly in the ER?
The most common injuries are muscle or ligamentous strains.
Are there sports injuries that you shouldn’t use this app for? Injuries that need to be seen more urgently?
Injuries associated with numbness, tingling or weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain or abdominal pain should be seen more urgently. Obvious broken bones or dislocations should be seen by a physician as soon as possible.
Are patients typically seen around their scheduled time?
Patients are typically seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled treatment time, but most are seen as soon as they arrive. If there is a delay, you’ll be notified by phone or email so that you can continue waiting at home.

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