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Emergency department visits for electric scooter-related injuries after introduction of an urban rental program

      Abstract

      Background

      Providers in Salt Lake City emergency departments (EDs) anecdotally noted a significant number of electronic scooter (e-scooter)-related injuries since the launch of e-scooter rentals in the downtown area in June 2018. The aim of this study was to quantify and characterize these injuries.

      Methods

      We reviewed the electronic medical records of the University of Utah ED and the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center ED. Using a broad keyword search for “scooter,” we examined all notes for ED visits between June 15–November 15, 2017, and June 15–November 15, 2018, and identified e-scooter related injuries. The 2017 data pre-dated the launch of the e-scooter share programs in Salt Lake City and served as a control period.

      Results

      We noted 8 scooter-related injuries in 2017 and 50 in 2018. Injury types from the 2018 period included: major head injury (8%); major musculoskeletal injury (36%); minor head injury (12%); minor musculoskeletal injury (34%); and superficial soft tissue injury (40%). 24% of patients presented via ambulance and 6% presented as a trauma activation. 16% of patients required hospital admission and 14% had an injury requiring operative repair. 16% reported alcohol intoxication and none of the patients reported wearing a helmet at the time of the injury.

      Conclusion

      Since the launch of e-scooter share programs in Salt Lake City, we have seen a substantial increase in e-scooter related trauma in our EDs. Of particular note is the number of patients with major head injuries and major musculoskeletal injuries.
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