Uptick in emergency room visit, Pokemon-Go is partially to blame

Pokemon Go is now the most popular mobile game in U.S. history, according to new data from SurveyMonkey. (AP file)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  It’s been a busy summer in the emergency wing at Sister’s of Charity Hospital in Buffalo. With summer in full swing, people are out more often, naturally increasing your risk for getting hurt.

Dr. John Santillo is the Director of the Emergency Room wing at Sister’s of Charity Hospital of Buffalo. He said, “The trend seems to be, it gets busier and busier every day.”

Doctors are seeing more cuts, scrapes and bruises as people head outside. Dr. Santillo said, “It’s been very busy. We’ve had a lot of volume a lot of patients with the warm weather people are getting outside more we’re seeing the musculoskeletal type injuries.”

At sisters, Dr. Santillo says the volume seems to increase every year. But this year, there’s a unique added risk. Santillo said, “People are coming in and saying, “I was playing Pokemon and I did this.” And so far, they’ve gotten lucky but there’s always the chance that something else is going to happen.”

At the emergency wing at Sister’s of Charity Hospital of Buffalo, said, “The number of Pokemon-Go related injuries, is small but noticeable.”

Dr. Santillo said it’s mainly minor scrapes and sprains, but nationally, there have been serious injuries from Pokemon-Go. He said, “Players are not really aware of their surroundings, they get very engrossed in the game itself, and they’re walking around looking at their phone.” But he says its not all bad. He said, “Getting people out moving, interacting with others, it’s a great idea. Rather than playing with your phone in solitary inside.Being active is a good thing.”

But Santillo has a warning. He said, “Play at your own risk, and be aware. Be aware of your surroundings, I try to encourage people to have a spotter, play with someone else who can be aware, don’t use your earbuds those are the things to look out for I would say.”

Overall, Santillo said common sense will keep you safe.

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