Emergency room visits spike due to electric scooters in Salt Lake Valley

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) E-scooter injuries have spiked across emergency rooms in the United States. One local hospital has documented it.

The University of Utah Hospital studied the number of injuries from last year to this year. Their ER visits jumped more than 160 percent. 

E-scooters have been a craze here in Salt Lake and in other major cities. People use it to commute and in a lot of cases to bar hop.

A dollar gets you started. Then it’s 15 cents an hour. It’s a good source of transportation if you don’t have a car says, Taya Casper. 

She’s also learned they can be dangerous.
“I thought I was going to hit a curb and I flew off.”

She walked away with scrapes and bruises. But others haven’t been so lucky, earning them a trip to the emergency room.

”Our number went from eight injuries over three months in 2017 to 21 injuries this year,” Dr. Troy Madsen, University of Utah Hospital. 

Most of those injuries happened in the last month said Dr. Madsen.

Dr. Madsen says it’s not only the number of injuries but the severity of them. 

“Almost half of the patients that we saw this year had fractures or dislocations of their arms and legs. A lot less patients went to the operating room and we had some cases of severe head injuries and a number of people actually said they were riding the scooter’s while they were intoxicated,” said Dr. Madsen. 

When Dr. Madsen pulled patient history from the past year. None of them were wearing a helmet.
The electric scooters can go up to 15 miles an hour, about what an average bicycle can do.

Doctors are most concerned about head injuries. Dr. Madsen said many of the injuries could be prevented. His biggest message is to wear a helmet.  

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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