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Increasing Incidence of Hand and Distal Upper Extremity Injuries Associated With Electric Scooter Use

      Purpose

      Electric scooters (e-scooters) have seen an increase in popularity in cities across the United States as a form of recreation and transportation. The advent of ride-sharing applications allows anyone with a smartphone to easily access these devices, without any investment or experience required. In this study, the authors analyze scooter-related injuries of the hand and upper extremity.

      Methods

      The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) was queried to look for injuries related to the use of e-scooters between 2010 and 2019. Data collected included demographic information, the location of the injury, the injury diagnosis, and disposition. National estimates (emergency room visits in the United States) were calculated using the weight variable included in the NEISS database. Miscoded reports were excluded. As a corollary, Google Trends data were utilized to establish a correlation between e-scooter-related injuries and the relative number of e-scooter hits on the Google search engine.

      Results

      From 2010 to 2019, there were 730 e-scooter-related injuries reported to the NEISS database. This corresponds to an estimated 26,412 injuries nationally during this time period. The incidence of scooter-related injuries increased by over 230% (2,130 national injuries in 2010; 7,213 national injuries in 2019; relative difference 5,083). Injuries most commonly occurred in patients aged 10 to 18 years (30.3%). The most frequent site of injury was the wrist (41.9%). The most common injury diagnosis was fracture (55.3%). Additionally, there was a correlation between the number of Google Trends e-scooter hits and the number of injuries during this time period.

      Conclusions

      The incidence of e-scooter-related upper extremity injuries increased dramatically in the United States between 2010 and 2019.

      Clinical relevance

      As novel e-scooter-sharing apps become increasingly popular, it is imperative that users are educated about the risk of injury and that use of proper protective equipment is encouraged.

      Key words

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