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Senior nurse urges Pokémon Go players to avoid A&E department

The Royal Stoke University Hospital's emergency department is a focal point for smartphone game craze

A senior nurse has urged fans of the new game craze Pokémon Go to avoid his hospital's emergency department after it became a focal point for players.

Photo: iStockphoto

Pokémon Go sees players use their smartphones to hunt down digital characters in real-life locations.

Staff at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire discovered their emergency department had been designated a 'gym', where players can train their virtual characters.

Busy department

Trust associate chief nurse Kevin Parker urged players to stay away from the busy department.

'I don't play the game myself, but I am aware how popular it has become,' he said.

'I'm also aware of various reports in the media of "unsafe" areas that the game has been played in. Royal Stoke University Hospital is a safe area where gamers can enjoy Pokémon Go. However, members of the public who do not need to be at Royal Stoke should not attempt to enter A&E or any other part of the hospital building to play the game.

Unwanted distraction

'The A&E department is incredibly busy this summer and we want the public to understand that anybody who visits the hospital solely to play the game will provide an unwanted distraction to the important work of the hospital.'

Meanwhile, healthcare staff have taken to social media to report emergency departments busy with people who have actually been injured while playing the game.

The most common accident involves people walking into roads and items of street furniture while concentrating on phone screens instead of where they are walking.

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