207910 Self-Balancing Personal Transporters: New Vehicles for Injury

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:15 AM

Keith Boniface, MD, RDMS , School of Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Mary Pat McKay, MD, MPH , School of Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Raymond Lucas, MD , School of Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Alison Shaffer, MS , School of Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Neal K. Sikka, MD , Department of Emergency Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Background: Self-balancing personal transporters have become popular and are increasingly used in tourist destinations. Sparse data exist on injuries related to their use. We characterized injuries related to personal transporter use in an urban emergency department (ED) in Washington, DC.

Methods: Design: Retrospective review. All ED records from April 2005-November 2008 were reviewed electronically to identify cases. Identified cases were then examined for demographics, injuries, and disposition. Our IRB approved this study.

Results: 44 cases were identified. All cases involved falling off the transporter. 72.7 percent were female, with an average age of 46 years (range 16-80, sdev 16). 61.4% were from outside the DC area. 47.8% of the primary injuries occurred to the extremities, 15.9% to the head, and 15.9% to the face. 34% of the primary injuries were fractures, including six that required surgery. Seventeen had lacerations, contusions, or sprains as their primary diagnosis. The majority (75%) of patients were discharged but 8 were admitted to surgical specialties and 3 had brain injuries requiring the ICU. Most injuries occurred between May and October, with 25% occurring in August. During 9 months in 2005, there were 6 cases; in 2006, there were 3; in 2007 there were 9; and during the first 11 months in 2008 there were 26.

Conclusions: The rates for hospital admission and critical care in this case series of personal transporter injuries are significant and seem to be increasing in scope with increasing use. Further investigation into the risks of personal transporter use is warranted.

Learning Objectives:
1.) Recognize the increasing risk of injury that result from use of self-balancing personal transporters 2.) Describe patterns of injury that may occur to crash victims of self-balancing personal transporters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Participating in the conceptualization, analysis and writing of the project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.