Incidence, Management, and Hospital Costs of Orthopaedic Injuries of E-Scooter Riders in Western Australia

Kyle Raubenheimer, Katherine Szeliga, Jonathan R. Manara, Daniel M. Fatovich, James G.A. Plant, William G. Blakeney

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The use of electric scooters (e-scooters) is increasing in Australia and internationally. The increasing availability of e-scooters has led to a rise in the number of injuries, with most patients sustaining orthopaedic injuries. This retrospective case series describes the incidence, management, and hospital costs of the orthopaedic injuries, which presented to the emergency department (ED) of the major trauma center in Western Australia. Data on demographics, ED dispatch destination, management, follow-up clinics, and hospital costs were collected between 2017 and 2022. Since June 2020, there have been 61 e-scooter crashes, which resulted in orthopaedic injuries, with more than half of the crashes occurring after the introduction of regional e-scooter sharing schemes. Thirty-two patients (52%) were admitted to the hospital. The most common orthopaedic fracture was to the upper limb (44%), followed by the lower limb (41%) and the axial skeleton (15%). Fourteen (23%) patients sustained more than one fracture. Twenty-two patients (36%) required operative management. The median number of outpatient clinic attendances per patient was 3 (interquartile range (IQR): 1–5), with inpatients requiring twice the number of clinics as compared to those discharged from the ED. The median cost per presentation was AU$5880.60 (IQR: AU$1283.10–AU$21,150.90) with inpatient costs exceeding those discharged from the ED. The range of the total costs was AU$413.80 to AU$100,239.80. The rise in the accessibility of e-scooters in Western Australia has led to a rise in ED presentations with orthopaedic injuries. Considering the recent implementation of e-scooter sharing schemes in metropolitan areas, ongoing surveillance of e-scooter injuries by clinicians and policy makers is warranted to inform harm minimization strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6591
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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