Filipina nurse feared Dubai e-scooter crash would be career-ending

Dubai woman required emergency surgery after losing her balance in Barsha

Dr Raghavendra Siddappa, orthopaedic specialist, with Pinky Caballero, who badly injured her arm when she fell from an e-scooter. Photo supplied.
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A Filipina nurse who smashed her elbow in a 20kph e-scooter crash in Dubai feared it might be a career-ending injury.

Pinky Caballero, 35, suffered multiple fractures to her left elbow and arm, as well as vascular injuries when she crashed while riding her electric scooter home from work at a nearby hospital on April 25.

The accident occurred just days before strict new rules came into force across Dubai that demanded those without a driving licence complete mandatory training.

I have now sold my scooter. I don’t want to ride it any more. The accident has put me off for life
Pinky Caballero

Ms Cabellero, who was wearing a helmet and chest protector at the time of the accident, crashed a short distance from her home in the Al Waleed building in Barsha, close to the Mashreq Bank Metro Station.

"The streets were quite crowded, so I could not go very fast. I just lost balance,” she told The National.

“I work near by so it was not a long journey for me.

“My husband was outside the home. He saw me have the accident and immediately came over to help. My left shoulder and arm was in a bad way, so he called an ambulance.

“Though I sat up straight, I could not move my left hand. I did not feel any pain at the time, but it had already started to swell. I knew I had fractured my elbow.”

About 9pm Ms Cabellero was rushed into Aster Hospital in Mankhool for emergency treatment.

An X-ray revealed the full extent of the damage ― a fracture of her left humerus that required surgery. A metal rod was inserted into her elbow to repair and strengthen the joint.

Nurse Pinky Caballero suffered multiple fractures in her elbow after falling from her e-scooter.

Luckily, her health insurance covered all her costs. The e-scooter was checked for damage and was found to be in full working order.

“It was very painful,” Ms Cabellero said.

“The paramedics put a temporary splint in and gave me painkillers.

“I started to panic as to what would happen to my hand. Damage to nerves and blood vessels can be critical. If not treated properly, it can lead to amputation, so I was scared.

“My fingers were numb and I had no feeling, so they said there was likely nerve damage and some injury to my blood vessels. I was worried I may not be able to work again.”

A government safety campaign was launched in April because of the soaring popularity of e-scooters, which have become affordable, last-mile transport options for many train and bus commuters.

Under the eye of the Federal Traffic Council, the Traffic Safety for E-scooter Users campaign called on people to use the two-wheeled electric vehicles on designated paths and zones and to wear helmets, knee pads and reflective clothing at night.

Designated networks allowing e-scooters to ride on roads were extended across Dubai in April to include 10 new areas across the city.

Doctors who treated Ms Cabellero said she was lucky to retain the full use of her arm.

“Pinky’s case was complex and demanded time-sensitive action,” said Dr Raghavendra K Siddappa, the orthopaedic specialist who treated her injuries.

“She had suffered multiple fractures in her elbow and displaced and broken her left humerus bone.

“But what was more critical was the damage to the nerves and blood vessels.”

The accident caused compartment syndrome, which occurs when there is an obstruction to blood flow. If not rectified quickly, it affects the muscles and nearby nerves resulting in irreversible damage.

Ms Cabellero has been signed off work for a month, until June 9, but that is likely to continue for at least another two weeks so she can begin some rehabilitating physiotherapy.

“This new training that has come in for e-scooter riders is a good idea. It will protect riders and other motorists from these kinds of accidents,” she said.

“I have now sold my scooter. I don’t want to ride it any more. The accident has put me off for life.”

Updated: May 20, 2022, 5:22 AM