This report describes trends in the occurrence of injuries requiring hospitalisation in Australia (in both public and private hospitals) during the 10-year period from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2017. Injury is described according to major types of external causes of injury. The report covers injuries that occurred in community settings—such as car accidents; interpersonal violence; sporting and recreational activities; and work—but health-care-associated harm is not included.
Only a small proportion of all incident injury cases result in admission to a hospital. For each hospital admission, many more cases present to hospital emergency departments but are not admitted, or are seen by a general practitioner. A larger number of generally minor cases do not receive any medical treatment. In addition, a smaller number of severe injuries that quickly result in death go unrecorded in terms of hospital separations, but are captured in mortality data. Although injury cases admitted to hospital comprise only a small proportion of the number of incident cases of injury, however, they account for a large proportion of estimated costs of injury.
The external-cause categories presented in this report differ slightly from those in previous editions of the Trends in hospitalised injury series. The following changes have been made:
- Previous reports have included 2 categories of poisoning (Poisoning, pharmaceuticals and Poisoning, non-pharmaceutical substances), while the present report covers both types of poisoning within 1 broad category of Accidental poisoning.
- The large general category Other unintentional injury has been split into 3 separate sections covering injury due to Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces, injury due to Exposure to animate mechanical forces and all other remaining unintentional external causes of injury.