Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 274-278

Hospital seeing more personal mobility device accidents and serious injuries despite active mobility act

1 Acute and Emergency Care Centre, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore
2 Department of General Surgery, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Wey Ting Lee
Acute and Emergency Care Centre, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, 90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_115_19

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Introduction: E-scooters or personal mobility devices (PMDs) have recently been growing in popularity in Singapore. These devices can be especially helpful for those who have reduced mobility or who need to move between several relatively near locations multiples times per day or who simply appreciate the added convenience of having another transportation option. The increasing popularity of PMD has met with growing public concern over safety. Singapore government passed the Active Mobility Act (AMA) in January 2017 to regulate the usage of PMD. In Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, PMD-related accident has increased year on year by 20%–30%. Our study is to compare the incidence and severity of PMD-related accidents before and after the implementation of the AMA. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of patients presented to the emergency department (ED) of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for PMD-related accidents between November 2014 and October 2017. In year 1 of the study, we included patients presenting between November 2014 and October 2015. In years 2 and 3, we included patients presenting between November 2015 and October 2016 and November 2016 and October 2017, respectively. Data collected included demographic information, type of device used and impact, outcome, and injury severity score (ISS). Results: A total of 697 PMD-related accidents were seen in our center. We observed an increasing trend of accidents with significant injuries. There were 157 accidents reported in year 1, 233 in year 2, and 307 in year 3. The mean age of patients increased from 28 ± 15 years (range, 5–89 years) in year 1 to 33 ± 15 years (range, 4–83 years). Most patients were males (61.8% in year 1, 76.8% in year 2, and 73.3% in year 3) and Chinese (55.4% in year 1, 62.7% in year 2, and 65.5% in year 3), followed by Malays, Indians, and others. Devices commonly associated with injury were E-scooters, skateboards, and E-bicycles. E-scooters accidents had increased drastically from 12.1% in year 1 to 58.3% in year 3, but E-bicycles and other PMD accidents had decreased in year 3. Most patients were injured from falling off their devices (83.4% in year 1, 83.7% in year 2, and 79.5% in year 3), followed by collisions. Most patients arrived to the ED with own transports and were triaged to the patient acuity category 3 or 4. Most injuries were mild, with ISS <9 (97.5% in year 1 and 94.9% and 94.1% in year 2 and 3, respectively). The most common PMD-related injuries involved external injuries, followed by upper and lower extremities injuries. For more severe injuries (ISS ≥9), the number had increased from 4 in year 1 to 18 in year 3. Most patients were discharged. The number of patients required admissions increased from 12 to 44 in year 3, with two high-dependency or intensive care unit admissions. The mean hospital stay reduced from 5.0 ± 6.0 days to 3.6 ± 4.1 days, with the survival rate remained at 100%. There was only one fatality was reported in year 2. Conclusion: There is an increase in injuries and severity of PMD accidents despite AMA being implemented in January 2017. More need to be done to ensure the safety of PMD-related use in Singapore footpaths and roads.

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