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E-scooter incidents in Berlin: an evaluation of risk factors and injury patterns

Abstract

Background E-scooters have emerged as a frequently used vehicle in German cities due to their high availability and easy access. However, investigations about the causes and mechanisms of E-scooter incidents and their trauma-specific consequences are rare.

Methods We analysed all patients involved in E-scooter incidents from June to December 2019 who presented to four inner-city EDs in Berlin. The prospective data included patient-related and incident-related data, information on injury patterns and therapy, responses in a voluntary questionnaire concerning E-scooter use and general traffic experience.

Results 248 patients (129 males; median age 29 years (5–81)) were included: 41% were tourists and 4% were children. Most incidents (71%) occurred between July and September 2019, the majority occurring at weekends (58%). The injury pattern was mostly multifocal, affecting the lower (42%) and upper limbs (37%) and the head (40%). Traumatic brain injury was associated with alcohol consumption. Inpatient admission was recorded in 25%, surgery in 23%.

Conclusion This study has defined the incidence of injury related to E-scooter use in a major European city. Stricter laws governing the use of E-scooters, the wearing of helmets and technical modifications to the E-scooter platforms might decrease E-scooter-associated incidents and resulting injuries in the future.

Trial registration number German Clinical Trials Registry (DRKS00018061).

  • trauma
  • accidental
  • emergency department
  • musculoskeletal

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. All collected data have been entered into an Excel data sheet and patient’s privacy information has been pseudonymised. The Excel document itself is password protected and saved upon a password-protected server of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Charité University Medicine Berlin with restricted access. Data protection is following the data protection declaration of the respective institution and will be available upon reasonable request.

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