Head and neck injuries make up nearly 28% of all electric scooter accident injuries

October 12, 2020

DETROIT (October 12, 2020) - A Henry Ford Health System physician is sounding the alarm on the rising number of injuries caused from riding electric scooters, calling it a growing public health concern.

In a study of e-scooter injuries, Kathleen Yaremchuk, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, says a review of emergency visits in the last three years shows e-scooter injuries have increased significantly with many of them related to head and neck injuries. The study describes how the types of injuries which include concussions, fractures, contusions and abrasions, lacerations and internal organ injuries have changed since the introduction of e-scooter rideshare systems to the public in September 2017.

The study's break down on the type of injuries shows that head and neck injuries made up nearly 28% of the total injuries. Results were also broken down by age groups and showed that from 2009 to 2017, patients who were 17 years old or younger made up the most injured age group. After 2017, the demographic of 18-to-44-year-olds became the most injured age group, which suggests that e-scooter injuries occur predominantly with older users.

"I've seen riders not wearing helmets, two or three riders on one e-scooter recklessly weaving in and out of traffic. The numbers of injuries we're seeing should be a wake-up call about the safety risks of riding these modes of transportation," says Dr. Yaremchuk, the study's senior author.

Results of Henry Ford's retrospective study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

The Henry Ford research team found that since the introduction of rideshare e-scooters, motorized vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, injuries have increased as more people gravitate to the inexpensive and convenient form of transportation used mostly in crowded urban centers.

"We hope the study will help educate users of rideshare e-scooters about the potential for serious head and neck injuries and the safety precautions they should take," says Dr. Yaremchuk.

Rideshare programs have become one of the most popular transportation options in urban centers and college campuses. E-scooters are part of the Micromobility revolution that has been called the future of urban transportation and refers to a range of small, lightweight vehicles that include bicycles, Ebikes, electric scooters and skateboards, shared bicycles and electric pedal-assisted bicycles.

According to the Henry Ford study, from data collected and analyzed from the 2019 United States Consumer Product Safety Commission there were more than 100,000 estimated e-scooter injuries reported from January 2009 to December 2019 involving e-scooters.

From 2009 to 2017, the incidence of injuries year-over-year remained relatively constant. But since 2017, with the introduction of e-scooter rideshare programs, the incidence of total injuries significantly increased 3.5 times. Head and neck injuries also increased 4.5 times during that period.

The most common type of head and neck injuries included: Of the 92,353 patients who were treated at emergency departments, 25,562 or nearly 28% suffered head and neck injuries, while slightly more than 10% (9,994) required hospitalization. E-scooter use fatalities made up just over 0.1% (105) with none of those deaths directly attributed to head and neck injuries.

"As a physician, I would recommend that people who use this mode of transportation wear a helmet and apply the same approach as when driving a car," says Samantha Tam, M.D., study co-author and a specialist with the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Health System.

If you plan to ride an electric scooter for the very first time, here are a few precautions safety experts say you should consider: Safety research has shown that e-scooter accidents involved cars and ground obstacles such as curbs, poles and manhole covers. Other factors that led to accidents include mechanical problems such as failing brakes and wheels. Distracted riders were also a factor.
-end-
About Henry Ford Health System

Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health system committed to improving people's lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System includes six hospitals including Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals; Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital; Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson, MI; and Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital - an inpatient psychiatric hospital.

Henry Ford Health System also includes Henry Ford Medical Group: Henry Ford Physician Network; more than 250 outpatient facilities; Henry Ford Pharmacy; Henry Ford OptimEyes; and other healthcare services. Our not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan - HAP - provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people.

As one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows annually in more than 50 accredited programs, and has trained nearly 40% of the state's physicians. Our dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.

Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians, more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals. For more information, go to henryford.com

Henry Ford Health System

Related Emergency Departments Articles from Brightsurf:

Study characterizes suspected COVID-19 infections in emergency departments in the UK
Among patients reporting to hospital emergency departments (EDs) with suspected COVID-19 infection, important differences in symptoms and outcome exist based on age, sex and ethnicity, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Steve Goodacre of the University of Sheffield, UK, and colleagues.

Waste generation by hospital emergency departments is highlighted for first time
Emergency departments of hospitals generate significant amounts of environmentally harmful waste which could be reduced through basic changes to disposal policies and practices.

Whole body scans for trauma patients saves time spent in emergency departments
A new study by a University of South Australia medical imaging student may have found the solution to easing hospital ramping and crowded emergency departments.

Use of emergency departments plummets during COVID-19
A new commentary highlights the dramatic decline in emergency department visits during the COVID-19 pandemic and what could be causing the decrease.

Academic emergency departments are always open to all who need care
''Academic emergency departments never deny emergency care to any person.'' That is the statement put forth in a commentary from the Board of Directors of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the Senior Editorial Board of Academic Emergency Medicine journal.

Emergency departments slow to adopt proven opioid use disorder therapy
A new study by Yale researchers looking at nearly 400 clinicians at four urban academic emergency departments found that, despite scientific evidence supporting the benefits of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, just 21% of emergency department clinicians indicated readiness to offer it to patients in need.

Colorado emergency departments take new steps to prevent youth suicide
new study conducted in seven Front Range emergency departments demonstrated success in helping parents make their homes safer when a teen is distressed.

First-ever analysis of video recorded CPR improves resuscitation outcomes in emergency departments
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and North Shore University Hospital pioneer video recording and review process to improve live-saving CPR process.

Thousands of uninsured kidney disease patients strain Texas emergency departments
More than 10,000 uninsured patients sought care at Texas emergency departments for lifesaving kidney dialysis in 2017, incurring more than $21.8 million in hospital costs, according to researchers from UTHealth.

Freestanding emergency departments may increase out-of-pocket spending for patients
A collaborative study led by researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix and Rice University found that freestanding emergency departments can increase out-of-pocket spending, health-care utilization and price per visit.

Read More: Emergency Departments News and Emergency Departments Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.