The symposium will take place on Friday 17 November at the Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus and be convened by RACS and the Jamison Trauma Institute (JTI). The event will bring together trauma professionals from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who will explore the current perspectives of legislation, injury statistics, patterns of injury, risk factors, lessons from first responders, coroners and solutions to decreasing growing emergency department admissions.
Since the introduction of e-scooters, a steady rise in deaths of riders, passengers and pedestrians has been recorded globally, placing pressure on first responders as well as the surgical wait list in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
The latest data sourced from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit (QISU) captures a sample of 20 emergency departments across Queensland and shows the yearly rise of e-scooter injuries from 2018 to 2023.
• 2018 (November to December): 38 cases
• 2019: 288 cases
• 2020: 386 cases
• 2021: 706 cases
• 2022: 1033 cases
• 2023(January to July): 716
In the last 12 months, QISU recorded an average of around 100 patients each month admitted to the emergency department across their Queensland sites from e-scooter injuries.
A further 31-month study for e-mobility devices in three Brisbane emergency departments revealed 90.8 per cent of injuries involved e-scooters with males accounting for 64.3 per cent of cases. The most common age group of injuries was between 25–34 years, and weekends were the most common period of the week for patients being admitted.
Dr Matthew Hope, chair of the Queensland Trauma Committee (QTC) and member of the RACS Trauma Committee said that since hire e-scooters were brought in by Brisbane City Council in late 2019, hospitals saw a rapid increase in injuries.
“The rate of injuries and fatalities globally from e-mobility devices including e-scooters are rising each year at an alarming rate--the data speaks for itself. The impact it’s having on increasing our hospital and surgical waiting lists is encouraging us to push for tougher restrictions and laws,” said Dr Hope.
“We hope the RACS Trauma Symposium will bring together like-minded professionals who will hear from our knowledgeable speakers, and each other, and be inspired to address this issue to improve road safety,” continued Dr Hope.
The RACS Trauma Committee and its four sub-committees are integral to RACS’ advocacy efforts to improve road safety and prevent trauma-related injury. The committees have a long and successful history of contributing to impactful change and education by supporting the development of trauma registries; overseeing the Trauma Verification Program; advising on trauma training and education for all surgeons; convening the Trauma Program at the Annual Scientific Congress and more.
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