Childhood is full of bumps and bruises — and often, worse. Which is why parents become quite familiar with the emergency room.
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is trying to address this — and keep the ER trips to a minimum — with the new UPMC Children’s Orthopaedic Urgent Care open after-hours and weekends. It’s a walk-in clinic that will treat patients up to age 18, providing specialized care for injuries such as broken bones, fractures, sprains, tendon injuries and joint problems.
“The demand has increased over the years, given children’s involvement in sports,” says Diane Hupp, chief nursing officer and vp of patient care services. “It’s quite common that they’re involved in two or three sports, resulting in more injuries. Many are minor and can be treated immediately.”
“A lot of times when there are football games, basketball games — kids come in with sprained ankles, and can be treated by an expert doctor.”
The new center is located within Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville, on the second floor above the emergency room. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Pediatric surgeons and specialists from the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery will be available to see patients, overseen by Dr. Timothy Ward, chief, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, and medical director of UPMC Children’s Orthopaedic Urgent Care.
“We do not believe there’s anything like it in the region,” says Hupp. “We believe it could be the first pediatric orthopaedic urgent care nationally. This could be a first, particularly for the after-hours and weekends.”