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Title: Impact on the health service in the Top End, Northern Territory following the introduction of an electric scooter sharing service.
Authors: Moran J
Buck A
Williams J
Piatkowski T
Unnikrishnan R
Citation: © 2022 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.
Emerg Med Australas. 2022 Oct 6. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.14090.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To investigate patients presenting to EDs following the recent introduction of a shared electric scooter (e-scooter) scheme in Northern Territory (NT). METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study in Darwin, a regional city in NT, Australia with a population of approximately 150 000. Any patient who disclosed involvement of an e-scooter in the reason for their presentation to the ED was included. A descriptive analysis was derived for age, sex, triage time, alcohol level, injury type and the requirement of operating theatre, inpatient stay or ED discharge. Categorical variables were analysed using χ(2) -tests, with odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and P-values reported. Costing analysis to ED of attendances and inpatient hospital admissions was undertaken. RESULTS: There were 111 presentations over the 8-month study period (January-September 2021). Forty-nine percent (n = 51) of patients were male and 51% (n = 54) were female. Extremity (n = 70) and craniofacial (n = 61) injuries were most common and approximately a quarter of patients (n = 24) required operative management for injuries sustained. Approximately half (n = 51) of patients were intoxicated and the average alcohol level of those tested was 0.18% (range 0.05-0.49%). The average cost per ED attendance was AU$777 and total cost of inpatient admissions being AU$352 255. All inpatient admissions were a result of injury while intoxicated. CONCLUSION: Harm minimisations strategies targeting implementation of alcohol testing and penalties for riders may be able to reduce the effect that the introduction of e-scooters on the strained health system in the NT.
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Journal title: Emergency medicine Australasia : EMA
Publication Date: 2022-10-06
Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1111/1742-6723.14090
Orcid: 0000-0002-6177-0266
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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