Stories about: emergency care

Mia’s story: Looking back on Christmas Eve in the ER

broken ankleThirteen-year-old Mia Useloff is looking forward to her family’s traditional Christmas Eve ritual. The Useloffs celebrate the day shopping at the Wrentham Outlet Mall, where Mia will be on the hunt for a new pair of UGG boots and chocolate treats.

It’s a far cry from Dec. 24, 2014, for this Jewish family. Last year, the four Useloffs gathered in the Boston Children’s Hospital emergency room (ER).

“It was the right place for us,” says Mia’s father, David.

On Dec. 23, Mia had landed wrong while performing a back tuck during cheerleading practice. Her parents treated the injury as a simple ankle sprain and iced and braced it through the night.

The next day they made an appointment with a local doctor in Framingham.

A broken ankle

“He told us it was a bad ankle fracture and was surprised she slept through the night,” recalls David.

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Paging Dr. Angry Bird: How mobile technology is improving pediatric emergency care

Lois Lee, MD, MPH
Lois Lee, MD, MPH

As a doctor in a busy pediatric Emergency Department, I’d like to personally thank the creators of Angry Birds. Not so much because I love to play it—though there is a certain satisfaction in knocking those pigs from their platforms—I’d like to thank them because the love my patient’s have for the game allows me to do my job better.

As an ED doctor I’m used seeing children who are in pain, or are very anxious about being at the hospital. When I see a child who’s in pain or scared, sometimes I ask the parents to let the child play their favorite mobile game, (almost all parents have one or two loaded on their phone or tablet.) More times than not, after a few minutes with a familiar game like Angry Birds, the child is far more relaxed, which makes it easier for me to quickly clean a wound or stitch a deep cut. It’s one of the tricks of the trade that I and several other pediatric emergency department staffers have picked up along the way.

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Keep kids safe in extreme heat


Temperatures are set to skyrocket all across the East Coast for the next few days. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your family stay safe in the summer’s first heat wave. For more summer safety tips, download Boston Children’s Hospital’s summer safety brochure.

If your children are playing outdoors, make sure they take water breaks, even if they’re not thirsty. If a child complains about any of the following he could be overheated or at risk for heat illness:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps

If your child has of any of these symptoms, have him lie down in a cool, shaded area with his feet slightly raised, with drinking water and a cool cloth on hand.

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Children's and Project Medishare: reflections from the Emergency Department

The ER team: from left, Sarah Wingerter, MD, Stephen Monteiro, MS EMT-P, Sarita Chung, MD, Alexis Schmid, RN, Michelle Marini, RN.
The ER team: from left, Sarah Wingerter, MD, Stephen Monteiro, MS EMT-P, Sarita Chung, MD, Alexis Schmid, RN, Michelle Marini, RN.

From April 10 to 18, Children’s Hospital Boston sent a group of 26 clinicians to a field hospital in Haiti. Here, those who staffed the Emergency Department reflect on their experience.

Sarah Wingerter, MD, Division of Emergency Medicine

In retrospect it seems hard to believe we only spent 8 days in Haiti.  Each day was so intense and so replete with new experiences and powerful emotions.   I remain awestruck and humbled by the fortitude of the Haitians I met, both patients and Medishare staff members.  To know that they continue to work on putting their lives back together despite the unimaginable challenges they face has given me a new perspective on what used to seem like inconveniences in my own comfortable life.  I learned a great deal about patience, humility, and selflessness from patients and parents who waited hours in the sweltering heat—many after walking miles to reach the medical facility—for the opportunity to receive care for medical problems they had endured for months or even years.

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