A consultant orthopaedic surgeon has called on people using electronic scooters to wear helmets and to be aware of the speed at which they are travelling.
Dr Ciara Fox of Connolly Hospital told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that research carried out in the hospital over 12 months found that injuries sustained from e-scooters were severe and complex, frequently resulting in surgery.
The research, the first of its kind in Ireland, analysed patients presenting at Connolly Hospital over a 12-month period with injuries sustained in accidents involving e-scooters.
Dr Fox explained that it was a spate of such injuries that led to the research which found that the injuries were severe and complex, with bones being fragmented, especially wrists and ankles. Surgical interventions were frequently required and patients faced the risk of post traumatic arthritis.
“We were surprised at such high energy injuries,” she added.
Poor safety compliance
The research also revealed that two thirds of those injured had not been wearing helmets, which surprised Dr Fox. There appeared to be very poor general safety compliance, which she felt might have come from the perception that e-scooters were children’s recreational devices, when in fact they were mechanically propelled vehicles.
Half of the patients had been using an e-scooter for their general commute, she said.
There were no comparable figures for injuries to children, said Dr Fox, as Connolly Hospital does not have a paediatric department, this was something that could be carried out at the country’s children’s hospitals, she suggested, especially given the popularity of e-scooters as gifts last Christmas.
“Anecdotally we know that e-scooters are prevalent among teens.”
Dr Fox said she would advise anyone using an e-scooter to give it the respect it deserved, wear a helmet, be cautious, be aware of where they were travelling and of the speed at which they were travelling.