Welcome to the ED

Welcome to the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care while you are here. The below video contains important information about the pediatric section of the Emergency Department and will help you and your loved ones know what to expect during your visit.

For more information about the Pediatric Emergency Department, please click here.

Estimated Wait Times

If you are having lab tests, x-rays or consultations, the estimated wait times for the results are:

  • Lab tests: 1 to 2 hours from collection
  • X-rays: 1 to 2 hours
  • CAT scans: 4 to 6 hours
  • MRI tests: 6 to 8 hours
  • Specialty consultations with doctors from other services: 1 to 2 hours


  • What is the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)?
  • It looks like there are multiple seating areas. Should I stay in one?
  • Are there interpreters available? I would feel more comfortable discussing my care in my native language.
  • Who is taking care of me in the Emergency Department?
  • Why am I being asked the same questions so many times?
  • It looks like some patients are being seen who came in after I did. Did they forget about me?
  • I feel worse. Who should I tell?
  • I’m not comfortable. Is there anything you can do?
  • Can I eat?
  • What tests will I undergo in the CDU?
  • How long will I be here?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital?
  • What happens when I go home?
  • My phone or tablet is dying. Where can I charge it?
  • How can I access the internet?
  • I don’t feel safe at home. Who can I tell?
  • How can my family members contact me while I am here?
  • I want to provide feedback about my experience.

Hospital Resources

    • In the Emergency Department, we offer free Wi-Fi (called “phspiaguest”), electronic device charging stations, televisions, and reading materials. We may also be able to offer a pillow, warm blanket, cold pack, or food and drink. Please let a member of your team know if you are interested in any of these services.
    • Please click here to watch videos that provide helpful information about the MGH ED, various medical conditions, tips for eating healthy and preventing falls, and more.
    • Click here for a listing of the various services and amenities for patients and families offered at Massachusetts General Hospital (e.g. parking, shuttle service, cafeterias, chaplaincy, gift shop, etc.).
    • Below find a list of resources that may be helpful to you or your loved one after your visit to the Emergency Department.

Leaving the ED

If at the end of your ED visit you are being discharged home, we will go over a list of instructions to follow after leaving the hospital. Before you leave please make sure to:

Review your discharge summary with your nurse

Understand your discharge and follow up instructions

Have your prescriptions

Ask us questions on anything you are unclear about

Ask for a work/school note if needed

Gather your belongings

Be sure to tell your regular primary and specialty care doctors that you visited the ED. They may want to follow up with you.


Thank you for allowing us to care for you today.

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