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Falls leading cause of injuries related to ‘e-scooters’: study

Los Angeles — More than three-quarters of people injured riding standing electric scooters – commonly called “e-scooters” – are hurt as a result of a fall, results of a recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles suggest.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of 249 people treated for electric scooter-related injuries between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Of those injured, 81 (32.5 percent) arrived by ambulance, which indicates the severity of the injury, the researchers noted.

Head trauma was the most common injury, making up 40.2 percent of the hospitalizations, followed by fractures (31.7 percent) and soft-tissue injuries (27.7 percent).

The primary cause of injury was falls (80.2 percent). Collisions accounted for 11 percent of the injuries, and the other 8.8 percent resulted from struck-by incidents. Most of the people injured were riders (91.6 percent); the rest were pedestrians who were struck by, lifting or carrying a scooter, or who tripped over one.

Electric scooter injuries are comparable with those experienced by Segway users, Dr. Joann Elmore, the study’s senior author and a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the Geffen School of Medicine, said in a Jan. 25 press release.

“We noted similar patterns of injury with the new standing electric scooters,” Elmore said. “But unlike Segway transporters, standing electric scooters will have a substantial impact on public health given their low cost, popularity and broad accessibility.”

The study was published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open.

In related news, the American College of Emergency Physicians on Feb. 27 launched a public safety campaign intended to raise awareness of safely riding e-scooters. Scoot Safe includes a public service announcement and downloadable poster, as well as tips for having a safe ride.

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