1 in 3 electric scooter injuries need ER care, study finds

Megan Knowles - Print  | 

One in three people hurt in electric scooter accidents require treatment in an emergency room, a study published in JAMA Network Open found.

Conducted by researchers at UCLA, it is the first published study on injuries caused by electric scooters. The shared e-scooters, which can go up to 35 miles per hour, have recently landed in U.S. cities as "pay-as-you-go" vehicles.

The researchers looked at the visits of 249 people treated in ERs between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018, of two Los Angeles County facilities: UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

The most frequent injuries from e-scooters were head injuries (40 percent), fractures (32 percent) and cuts, sprains or bruises without a fracture (28 percent), the study found.  

As many as one-third of patients evaluated called an ambulance. Fifteen people were hospitalized, and two needed treatment in an intensive care unit.

"Standing electric scooters will have a substantial impact on public health given their low cost, popularity and broad accessibility," study author Joann Elmore, MD, told ABC News.

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