Hospital seeing more Personal Mobility Device (PMD) accidents and serious injuries despite Active Mobility Act

Published: 30 July 2019| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/4t26cc39xf.2
Lee Wey Ting


E- scooters or Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) have recently been growing in popularity in Singapore. These devices can be especially helpful for those who have reduced mobility, or who need to move between several relatively near locations multiples times per day, or who simply appreciate the added convenience of having another transportation option. The increasing popularity of PMD has met with growing public concern over safety. Singapore government passed the Active Mobility Act (AMA) in January 2017 to regulate the usage of PMD¹. In Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, PMD related accident has increased year on year by 20-30%. Our study is to compare the incidence and severity of PMD-related accidents before and after the implementation of the AMA. A retrospective study of patients presented to the emergency department of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for PMD-related accidents between November 2014 and October 2017. In Year 1 of study, we included patients presenting between November 2014 and October 2015. In Year 2 and 3, we included patients presenting between November 2015 and October 2016, November 2016 and October 2017 respectively. Data collected included demographic information, type of device used and impact, outcome and injury severity score (ISS). A total of 697 PMD related accidents were seen in our centre. We observed an increasing trend of accident with significant injuries. There were 157 accidents reported in Year 1, 233 in Year 2 and 307 in Year 3. The mean age of patients increased from 28 ± 15 years (range, 5-89 years) in Year 1 to 33 ± 15 years (range, 4-83 years). Most were males and Chinese. Devices commonly associated with injury were E-scooters, skateboards and E-bicycles. E- scooters accidents had increased drastically from 12.1% in Year 1 to 58.3% in Year 3. Most were injured from falling off their devices (83.4% in Year 1, 83.7% in Year 2 and 79.5% in Year 3), followed by collisions. Most patients arrived to the emergency department with own transports and were triaged to Patient Acuity Category (PAC) 3 or 4. Most injuries were mild, with ISS < 9 (97.5% in Year 1, 94.9% and 94.1% in Year 2 and 3 respectively). The most common PMD-related injuries involved external injuries, followed by upper and lower extremities injuries. For more severe injuries (ISS ≥ 9), the number had increased from 4 in Year 1 to 18 in Year 3. Most patients were discharged. The number of patients required admissions increased from 12 to 44 in Year 3 with 2 high dependency or intensive care unit admissions. Mean hospital stay reduced from 5.0 ± 6.0 days to 3.6 ± 4.1 days, with survival rate remained at 100%. There is an increase in injuries and severity of PMD accidents despite Active Mobility Act being implemented in January 2017. More need to be done to ensure the safety of PMD-related use in Singapore footpaths and roads.



Emergency Medicine, Trauma