Patient Demographics and Injury Characteristics of ER Visits Related to Powered-Scooters 2020-01-0933
With growing environmental concerns associated with gas-powered vehicles and busier city streets, micro-mobility modes, including traditional bicycles and new technologies, such as electric scooters (e-scooters), are becoming solutions. In 2018, e-scooter usage overtook other shared micro-mobility modes with over 38 million e-scooter trips taken. Concurrently, the societal concern regarding the safety of these devices is also increasing. To examine the types of injuries associated with e-scooters and bicycles, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a probability sample of US hospitals that collects information from emergency room (ER) visits related to consumer products, was utilized. Records from September 2017 to December 2018 were extracted, and those associated with powered scooters were identified. Injury distributions by age, sex, race, treatment, diagnosis, and location on the body were explored. The number of person-trips was obtained to perform a risk analysis. An estimated 17,772 injuries were associated with powered scooters. Nearly 45% of injuries occurred in persons aged 10-29 years. Almost 87% of ER visits consisted of patients being treated and released, whereas nearly 11% were hospitalized (the remaining 2% either received no treatment or the disposition was unknown). Common injuries included contusions/abrasions, fractures, and lacerations. Almost 15% of the injuries associated with powered scooters occurred to the face; the head, ankle, lower leg, and knee were other common body parts injured. An estimated 51 million person-trips were taken during this time period, resulting in an injury rate of 346 injuries/million trips. In comparison, 4.7 billion person-trips were taken on bicycles, resulting in an injury rate of 114 injuries/million trips.