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Am J Otolaryngol. 2019 May 20. pii: S0196-0709(19)30421-1. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2019.05.023. [Epub ahead of print]

Craniofacial injuries related to motorized scooter use: A rising epidemic.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA. Electronic address: ab1631@njms.rutgers.edu.
2
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
3
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.
4
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Over the last decade, there has been increased interest in utilizing motorized scooters for transportation. The limited regulation of this modernized vehicle raises numerous safety concerns. This analysis examines a national database to describe the yearly incidence of craniofacial injuries and patterns of injury related to motorized scooter use.

METHODS:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance system was queried for craniofacial injuries associated with motorized scooter use. Patient demographics, injury type, anatomic location, injury pattern, and helmet status were extracted for analysis.

RESULTS:

From 2008 to 2017, there were 990 recorded events for craniofacial injuries secondary to motorized scooters extrapolating to an estimated 32,001 emergency department (ED) visits. The annual incidence was noted to triple over that 10-year period. The majority of patients were male (62.1%) and the common age groups at presentation were young children 6-12 years old (33.3%), adolescents 13-18 years old (16.1%) and young adults 19-40 years old (18.0%). The most common injury pattern was a closed head injury (36.1%) followed by lacerations (20.5%). Facial fractures were only present in 5.2% of cases. In cases in which helmet use was recorded, 66% of the patients were not helmeted.

CONCLUSION:

The incidence of motorized scooter related craniofacial trauma is rising, resulting in thousands of ED visits annually. Many patients are experiencing morbid traumatic injuries and may not be wearing appropriate protective equipment. This study highlights the importance of public awareness and policy to improve safety and primarily prevent craniofacial trauma.

KEYWORDS:

Craniofacial trauma; Motorized scooter; National Electronic Injury Surveillance

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