Doctors urge patients with broken bones to avoid emergency rooms

Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 17:38:24-04

BINGHAM FARMS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Before if you broke a bone, it was a given. You went to either the emergency room or your doctor’s office right away. The COVID-19 outbreak has changed that. Sometimes it is simply more dangerous to get treatment than to stay home.

“The emergency rooms are being completely overrun,” said Dr. James Bicos, Michigan Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Dr. James Bicos says not only are emergency rooms busy as they treat patients sick with COVID-19, they are dangerous. The virus is so contagious that doctors at his office are worried that even directing all patients with suspected broken bones straight to their office is too risky. So the doctors at Michigan Orthopedic Surgeons started doing almost all appointments using tele-health technology.

“A lot of it is triaging or screening, seeing what can wait,” said Dr. Bicos.

“I think symptom control is the best thing. It is much less risk to do that and let us address it later than to risk going into the hospitals right now,” said Dr. Rachel Rohde, Michigan Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“For example, certain types of shoulder fractures don’t need surgery and as long as you know there is a fracture and you limit some of the activities you can get by,” said Dr. Bicos.

Some breaks that have a visible deformity or break the skin still need in person medical attention right away. The office is still open for those emergencies with processes in place that keep patients from waiting inside, exposed to others. For one patient who just returned from a trip and feared exposing someone to the virus or catching it, a telehealth appointment offered relief. Sarah Egbert who is recovering from ACL surgery, says her doctor checked her progress and reassured her she was healing well, without putting her at risk of covid-19.

“Do it. Because we all need to do our part and flatten the curve and stay home so we don’t spread this virus anymore,” said Egbert.

To help people avoid the Emergency room if there is a serious break they have even extended their hours into the evenings everyday of the week. They are open until ten during the week and eight on the weekends. The number to call is 833-MOS-DOCS.

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