Top injuries leading to hospitalisation: falls for women, road crashes for men

About 356,000 injuries in 2004-05 were serious enough to result in hospitalisation, according to the latest report on injuries and poisoning released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

'The vast majority (86%) of these community injuries, or injuries typically sustained in the home, workplace or street, were unintentional,' said report author Clare Bradley.

'The rest were considered to be intentional, such as assault or self-harm,' she said.

The leading causes of these unintentional injuries were falls (36%) and road crashes (14%).

'Young men are still the most likely group to be injured in a transport accident, while older people, particularly older women, are most likely to be injured in a fall,' Ms Bradley said.

As in previous years, males accounted for the majority (58%) of hospitalised injury cases overall. Their age-standardised injury rate was 1.5 times as high as the rate for females.

The report, Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australia 2004-05, also showed there were around 22,500 cases of work-related injury hospitalisations in 2004-05.

The hospital admission rate for work-related injuries was six times as high for males as it was for females.

Being struck by objects, being injured in explosions or by contact with tools or machinery were the most common causes of work-related injuries. Over a third of work injuries were injuries to the wrist and hand.

'The report also shows that there were over 37,000 cases of sports injuries serious enough to result in hospitalisation,' Ms Bradley said.

Team ball sports were the leading cause of hospitalised sport-related injury for both males and females.

'Football in particular, which includes Australian Rules, rugby, soccer and touch football, accounted for almost 40% of all sport-related injuries,' she said.

Almost 80% of sport-related injury cases involved males.

Falls, crashes, overexertion, being hit or bumped by another person, or being hit by sports equipment were all common causes of sport-related injury.

This report is the latest in a series of annual reports that look at injuries that resulted in admission to an Australian hospital.

Canberra, 26 November 2008

Further information: Clare Bradley, AIHW, tel. 08 8201 7625.

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.