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eScooter-Related Injuries Have Increased Over Time

48 percent had blood alcohol level >80 mg/dL; 52 percent of toxicology screens were positive

FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Electric motorized scooter (eScooter)-related injuries have increased over time and are frequently associated with alcohol and illicit substance use, according to research published online Aug. 29 in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open.

Leslie M. Kobayashi, M.D., from the University of California San Diego Health System, and colleagues conducted a retrospective case series analysis of patients admitted for eScooter-related injuries from Sept. 1, 2017, to Oct. 31, 2018, following widespread release of these devices in September 2017.

The researchers identified 103 patients who were admitted during the study period; over time, there was a significant increase in monthly admissions. Patients were young (mean age, 37.1 years) and mainly male (65 percent); 98 percent of the patients were not wearing a helmet. Overall, 79 percent of patients were tested for alcohol and 60 percent had a urine toxicology screen; 48 percent had a blood alcohol level >80 mg/dL and 52 percent of toxicology screens were positive. The most frequent injury was extremity fractures (42 percent), followed by facial fractures and intracranial hemorrhage (26 and 18 percent, respectively). An operative intervention was required for 34 patients, and most were open fixations of extremity and facial fractures. None of the patients died, and 86 percent were discharged home after a median length of stay of one day.

“Early research into the safety and injury patterns of eScooters is vital to guide the public and legislators on injury prevention strategies for this evolving mode of transportation,” the authors write.

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