Vanderbilt seeing uptick in electronic scooter injuries

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors are seeing a rise in patients with electronic scooter-related injuries.

Those who ride them, said they’re lots of fun.

“Best thing since sliced bread,” said Ryan Panos.

But not so much when the Bird and Lime scooters land you in one of Nashville’s hospitals.

“We’re seeing abut one major trauma a week or so that relates to trauma center admission,” said  Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui, Medical Director of Vanderbilt Hospital’s Trauma ICU. “There are a lot more coming to emergency department.”

Dr. Guillamondegui said the hospital saw a uptick in cases in the early spring with the rollout of the dockless scooters.

That trend slowed down when they were pulled in the summer.

But since its relaunch in September, the injuries have once again, been on the rise.

Dr. Guillamondegui said most of the scooter injuries occur to the hands, face, and head.

“We can repair any broken bone, any laceration,” said Dr. Guillamondegui. “Head injures are life long and they don’t just affect the individual, but also loved ones and the community.”

Dr. Guillamondegui said many of those injuries could be avoided simply by wearing a helmet.

It’s encouraged, but not required by Metro’s scooter ordinance.

“If it was required, I would wear it,” said Shane Fallon.

Dr. Guillamondegui said the next most important thing is to watch your surroundings.

“Have situational awareness if they’re on them, and try and do so when you’re at best and not at your worst,” he said. “To try and stay off the alcohol when you’re off the scooter.”

Riders said ultimately, comfort on the scooter is key to protect you and those around you.

“If I didn’t feel confident on it, I wouldn’t ride it because I dont want to hurt anybody,” said Fallon. “I probably also wouldn’t wear it while I was drunk either.”

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