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West J Emerg Med. 2017 Oct;18(6):993-999. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2017.6.34264. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Injuries Associated with Hoverboard Use: A Case Series of Emergency Department Patients.

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Eastern Virginia Medical School, Department of Emergency Medicine, Norfolk, Virginia.
Emergency Physicians of Tidewater, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Sentara Healthcare Quality Research Institute, Norfolk, Virginia.



Since hoverboards became available in 2015, 2.5 million have been sold in the US. An increasing number of injuries related to their use have been reported, with limited data on associated injury patterns. We describe a case series of emergency department (ED) visits for hoverboard-related injuries.


We performed a retrospective chart review on patients presenting to 10 EDs in southeastern Virginia from December 24, 2015, through June 30, 2016. We used a free-text search feature of the electronic medical record to identify patients documented to have the word "hoverboard" in the record. We reported descriptive statistics for patient demographics, types of injuries, body injury location, documented helmet use, injury severity score (ISS), length of stay in the ED, and ED charges.


We identified 83 patients in our study. The average age was 26 years old (18 months to 78 years). Of these patients, 53% were adults; the majority were female (61.4%) and African American (56.6%). The primary cause of injury was falls (91%), with an average ISS of 5.4 (0-10). The majority of injuries were contusions (37.3%) and fractures (36.1%). Pediatric patients tended to have more fractures than adults (46.2% vs 27.3%). Though 20% of patients had head injuries, only one patient reported using a helmet. The mean and median ED charges were $2,292.00 (SD $1,363.64) and $1,808.00, respectively. Head injuries resulted in a significantly higher cost when compared to other injuries; median cost was $2,846.00.


While the overall ISS was low, more pediatric patients suffered fractures compared to adults. Documented helmet use was low, yet 20% of our population had head injuries. Further investigation into proper protective gear and training is warranted.

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