AUSTIN,Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - A man remains in an intensive care unit Monday after he was critically injured in a scooter accident in downtown over the weekend Dell Seton said e-scooters are linked to many of their ICU cases.
There's about 11,000 electric scooters across various companies here in Austin. According to the numbers at Dell Seton, e-scooters send about 5 to 6 people to the ICU every month.
While they are easily accessible, the dangers can also come just as easily.
“I am aware of some people with head injuries that are significant enough to require long term support. Somebody who one minute is healthy enough to ride a scooter on a street at 20 miles per hour and the next minute is going to be in a nursing home the rest of their life,” said Dr. Christopher Ziebell the Dell Seton emergency department medical director.
Since April, Dell Seton saw an increase in injuries all linked to one thing.
“It was initial brought to my attention by a neurosurgeon who had 2 or 3 in one week,” said Dr. Ziebell.
After e-scooters hit the Austin streets in April, Dr Ziebell has been tracking the injuries passing through their hospital.
“We've seen a lot of broken bones people riding along pretty fast hit a pebble or a bump or a curb go flying and land and break their wrist or break an ankle,” said Dr. Ziebell.
At Dell Seton they've been tracking scooter cases as their hospital specifically severe injuries and since these scooters hit the market they've already seen 47. Twenty-five of those are orthopedic injuries, 15 are head traumas and the other 7 are facial injuries. That's about 1 to 2 people going to the ICU every week.
“From people literally going 20 miles an hour or more and the devise hits something and it stops there's nothing but air between them and the concrete,” said Dr. Ziebell.
Dr. Ziebell isn't the only one keeping an eye on scooter-related injuries, recently the city also released scooter stats which shows much tamer numbers compared to Dell Seton.
“Their data seems to indicate they had 68 patients for the entire community at all levels of injury,” said Dr. Ziebell.
Due to how new this scooter technology is, Dr. Ziebell said some cases may not show up when the city looks them up.
“The technology hasn't been universally programed to detect these things,” said Dr. Ziebell.
Dr. Ziebell isn't telling people to avoid riding these scooters, he just wants people to be safe as a quick trip down a few blocks could land you a trip to the ICU.
Dell Seton is meeting with the city this week to discuss and compare the numbers when it comes to scooter-related injuries.
The CDC is also doing a study in the area. Once all these studies are done the city plans to talk about any possible actions as early as march.