Calgary e-scooter injuries: what emergency room doctors are seeing

Click to play video: 'Dr. Eddy Lang discusses E-scooter injuries'
Dr. Eddy Lang discusses E-scooter injuries
WATCH: Dr. Eddy Lang from the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine joins Global News Morning Calgary to discuss electric scooter injuries – Aug 2, 2019

Electric scooters very quickly became a popular mode of transportation for Calgarians since their introduction to the city last month, but with the new trend comes a slew of scooter-related injuries.

Emergency room physician Dr. Eddy Lang joined Global News Morning Calgary on Friday to discuss the type of injuries they’re seeing.

“Given that you’re in that somewhat precarious vertical position, people are falling off of these and as a result, we’re seeing mostly upper extremity injuries – people are hurting their wrists and elbows,” Lang said.

“There’s a back bolt that people are catching their right ankle on, and we’re seeing lacerations related to that as well.”

Story continues below advertisement

Lang, who is also an associate professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, is leading a study looking at the number of hospital visits connected to e-scooters.

He said they combed through the electronic health record used in Calgary to see when the word “scooter” was used by patients as they described to how they were injured.

What they found was that already, some 60 patients have visited Calgary emergency rooms with e-scooter related injuries. Of those, most were fractures but some were head injuries.

“We don’t have a completely reliable way of collecting this data,” Lang admitted. “In theory, this could be a medical scooter, but really I think the data is reliable.”

Lang said the data collected is on par with what other cities have been experiencing, noting a report out of Austin, Texas that suggested that city saw just under 300 injuries in a three-month period.

“I think, unfortunately, what we’re seeing is almost no one is wearing a helmet when they’re using these,” he said. “What we’re hoping for is that people will take notice of this problem [and] put a helmet into their backpack when they’re heading out in the morning if they think they might be using an e-scooter during the day.”
Story continues below advertisement

“Head injuries can be catastrophic. So please, if you’re going to use an e-scooter, put that helmet on.

One man was sent to hospital on Thursday evening after a crash between an e-scooter and a car.

Emergency crews arrived at the intersection of 14 Street and 25 Avenue N.E. to find the scooter pinned underneath the car. Police said the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.

Calgary emergency crews responded to 14 Street and 25 Avenue N.E. on Thursday, Aug, 1, 2019 after a collision between a car and a Lime electric dockless scooter. Global News

Statistics released by the City of Calgary this week indicate 80,000 e-scooter trips were taken between July 13 and 29, covering some 250,000 kilometres.

Story continues below advertisement

The City of Calgary introduced the 16-month shared electric scooter pilot project in mid-July. It will run until the end of October 2020, breaking during the winter months.

The program isn’t costing taxpayers anything as it’s funded entirely by the companies participating in the pilot.

Once the pilot has concluded, the city will evaluate the program and decide if it should continue.

E-scooter riders caught travelling on the road will be fined $25, while those who interfere with pedestrians can face a $150 ticket.

The maximum speed for the vehicles is 20 km/h and it’s illegal to use them while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Sponsored content