Segways NOT that Cool, Injuries on the Rise

Just hours after the news that multi-millionaire Jimi Heselden died in a Segway accident hit the media, the specialists at the George Washington Hospital in Washington D.C. have released a report that showed an alarming increase in the number of serious head injuries caused by accidents while riding the hi-tech scooter.

The researchers have studied records of 41 patients during the course of three years, and found that only 17% of the patients had worn helmets, which are recommended by Segway, but not required by law.

"The Segway may seem cool, but there's nothing cool about a head injury," said Dr. Mary Pat McKay of The George Washington University in Washington D.C. "One-quarter of the patients who came to our emergency department with Segway injuries were admitted to the hospital. Forty percent of the admitted patients were admitted to the ICU because they had traumatic brain injuries."

Apparently, ten of the 41 injured people were admitted to the hospital, including four to an intensive care unit because they had suffered traumatic brain injuries. Two people underwent surgery during their hospital stay, one for facial fractures and one for fracture in the tibia.

Researchers say all of the injuries they discovered were sustained by riders simply falling off the machines.

“Segways are pretty new to the marketplace and it's often only as products become popular that the risks involved become apparent,” McKay said to MedicineNet. “We urge the Consumer Product Safety Commission to assign the Segway a unique product code and collect data on injuries sustained from riding the Segway so we can develop a clearer idea of the scope of the problem.”
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