A local doctor talks about the dangers of electric scooters

September 8, 2019

     Electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, have become a popular mode of transportation across the country and in Hampton Roads, especially Virginia Beach where they were recently banned in the Oceanfront area.

     Along with their rise in popularity, there has also been an increase in scooter-related injuries being treated at Sentara trauma centers.

     Dr. Richard Myers, orthopedic trauma surgeon at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital’s level 1 trauma center and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital’s level 3 trauma center, has been treating a rising number of patients suffering from injuries caused by electric scooters.

     “I was on call for seven days recently and I can think of, off the top of my head, four e-scooter cases, alone,” Dr. Myers said.

 

Electric scooter companies have recommended safety rules for riders, including wearing a helmet and riding in designated bike lanes.

 

     As an orthopedic trauma surgeon, Myers is called in when a patient’s injuries impact a bone and require surgery. Electric scooter injuries have centered around a patient’s wrist, ankle, knee or even head.

     "The scooters are a great opportunity for patients to get from point A to point B a little faster," Myers said. "There’s a lot of advantages to them, but people need to be cognizant of the potential for injury and they need to be safe and follow the rules."

     Many of these patients show up at the emergency department.       Since May, 10 patients have been admitted to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital for overnight stays, after scooter-related injuries.

     Six of those patients had neurological injuries and of those six, three also had orthopedic injuries.

     “Some of these are life-altering injuries,” said Myers.

     Electric scooter companies have recommended safety rules for riders, including wearing a helmet and riding in designated bike lanes.

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