News | Pediatric Imaging | December 10, 2019

New Study Looks at Motorized Scooter Injuries

The rapid growth of rental e-scooters in cities across the U.S. has sparked concerns, as hospital emergency departments have reported a growing number of injuries associated with the vehicles

CT_Pediatric_Scan_Philips_Vereos_CT_RSNA 2016

Image courtesy of Philips Healthcare

December 10, 2019 — More than half of people who received X-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans after electric scooter accidents were found to have injuries, most commonly to the upper extremities, according to a new study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Researchers said the findings underscore the need for more public education on the use of these scooters.

Dockless electric motorized rental scooters, also known as e-scooters, have exploded in popularity in recent years. E-scooters are familiar sights in urban areas and on college campuses, where users value them as an inexpensive, convenient and less strenuous alternative to bicycles.

The rapid growth of rental e-scooters in cities across the U.S. has sparked concerns, as hospital emergency departments have reported a growing number of injuries associated with the vehicles. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in association with Austin Public Health, released a study assessing the potential public health impact of e-scooter use.

"E-scooters have a narrow platform, can travel up to 15 to 20 miles per hour and require a level of coordination and skill that is often not native to many users," said study co-author Aiza Ashraf, M.D., diagnostic radiology resident at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. "Whereas physical effort is required to get a bicycle up to speed, e-scooters are self-powering."

Imaging exams for e-scooter accidents spiked at Indiana University Health System after the scooters were legalized in Indianapolis in September 2018. To find out more about this trend, Ashraf, Mohsin Mukhtar, M.D., and colleagues at Indiana University School of Medicine, studied electronic medical records and radiology archives of people ages 18 and older who had exams ordered for scooter-related injuries over a five-year period.

The researchers identified 69 exams performed on 36 unique Emergency Department patients with involvement of an e-scooter. There were 19 males and 17 females included in the study, and two-thirds were in the 18-30 age range. X-rays of the extremities and CT of the head, face and cervical spine were the most common exams ordered.

Nineteen of the 36 patients were found to have a radiographically apparent injury. The most common injuries involved the upper extremities, particularly the wrist. There were six cases of distal radial fractures, or fracture of the forearm bone close to the wrist, making it the most common injury in the study group. Soft tissue injuries of the head, face, wrist and ankle, were present in five cases.

"We believe that many users are not fully aware of the potential significant injuries that may occur with e-scooter use," Mukhtar said. "Raising awareness and doing further research on this topic could inform future policy."

The study findings highlight the importance of protective equipment such as helmets and hand/wrist guards, researchers said, along with the potential dangers of riding while under the influence of intoxicating substances. In addition, the study suggests that communities should consider imposing speed limits on e-scooter users.

"Limiting e-scooter speed could reduce the overall incidence and severity of injuries in the event of a fall or collision," Ashraf said. "And since these e-scooters could be viewed as a potential public health hazard, we would recommend public education on the use of these devices."

The study also found a lack of adequate and specific documentation of scooter type in the emergency medical records. More than 200 instances found in the search may have been e-scooter-related, but lack of documentation in the records prevented the researchers from making a definitive link.

"A robust ability for more systematic data collection and analysis, for example, performed as a multi-institutional public health study, may be of benefit," Mukhtar said.

For more information: www.rsna.org

Related Content

A new study published in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging on cardiac imaging trends over a decade reports that the rate of coronary computed tomography angiography (cCTA) exams by radiologists in hospital outpatient departments increased markedly from 2010 to 2019, suggesting a bright future for the technology.

Getty Images

News | Cardiac Imaging | September 28, 2021
September 28, 2021 — A new study published in ...
GE Healthcare's Definium Tempo Fixed X-ray System (Photo: Business Wire)

GE Healthcare's Definium Tempo Fixed X-ray System (Photo: Business Wire)

News | Digital Radiography (DR) | September 28, 2021
September 28, 2021 — GE Healthcare introduced the Definium Tempo, a new fixed, overhead tube suspension (OTS)...
GE Healthcare unveiled Revolution Ascend with Effortless Workflow, offering clinicians a collection of artificial intelligence technologies that automate and simplify time-consuming tasks to increase operational efficiency and free up time for clinicians to deliver more personalized care to more patients.
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 27, 2021
September 27, 2021 — GE Heal
Zebra Medical Vision now offers artificial intelligence (A) medical imaging analytics for its cardiac solution HealthCCSng, which enables the quantification of the coronary artery calcium (CAC) on CT scans as an incidental finding.
News | Artificial Intelligence | September 27, 2021
September 27, 2021 — Zebra Medical Vision, the deep-learning medical imaging analytics company, announces its eighth
Esaote, an Italian company leader in the biomedical equipment sector – ultrasound, MRI and software for the medical sector – launched E-shop: the new online store to reach medical professionals more quickly and effectively.
News | Radiology Business | September 27, 2021
September 27, 2021 — Esaote, an Italian company leader in the biomedical equipment sector –...
Volpara Health, a global health technology software leader providing an integrated platform for the delivery of personalized breast and lung care, further expanded its footprint in the US lung screening market with a strategic relationship with Seattle-based lung AI company RevealDx.

Getty Images

News | Lung Imaging | September 27, 2021
September 27, 2021 — Volpara Health, a global health technology software leader providing an integrated platform for
The development of new research guidelines for interventional oncology that standardize treatment outcomes and the reporting of data represents a major step forward for an increasingly important medical subspecialty, according to a report in Radiology.

Getty Images

News | Radiation Oncology | September 21, 2021
September 21, 2021 — The development of new research guidelines for interventional oncology that standardize treatmen
Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a leading manufacturer of advanced medical X-ray imaging systems, has announced that the Trinias unity edition product line has been awarded a contract from Vizient, Inc., a healthcare performance improvement company, effective Sept. 1, 2021.
News | X-Ray | September 17, 2021
September 17, 2021 — Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a leading manufacturer of advanced medical...
Revised guidelines for lung cancer screening eligibility are perpetuating disparities for racial/ethnic minorities, according to a new study in Radiology.

Getty Images

News | Lung Imaging | September 15, 2021
September 15, 2021 — Revised guidelines for...