Electric scooter ER visits jump 160% at Utah hospital, spiking across country

Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health saw a 161 percent increase in emergency room visits involving scooters this year after comparing its statistics with the same three-month period in 2017, The Washington Post reports.

ER physicians treated eight patients injured by scooters between June and September 2017. Most of these injuries likely resulted from patients' personal devices rather than the electric fleet vehicles owned by Bird, Lime and other companies, according to the Post.

During the same period this year, that number rose to 21, University of Utah Health emergency medicine physician Troy Madsen, MD, told the Post.

"Most of the patients with these injuries specifically reported that they were riding an e-scooter or a rental scooter," Dr. Madsen said, adding that patients ranged in age from 20 to 50 years old and were often injured attempting to avoid falling. "Interestingly, more than 80 percent of the injuries this year happened between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15, which would correspond with the increasing popularity and availability of the e-scooters."

The hospital said about half of the injuries this year were fractures and dislocations of ankles, wrists, elbows and shoulders. It also saw several sprains, lacerations and head injuries. Several patients told physicians they were intoxicated when they were injured and were not wearing helmets.

Emergency physicians in a dozen cities told the Post they are seeing an uptick in scooter accidents. Physicians in seven cities said they are regularly seeing "severe" injuries. 

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