Injury & poisoning hospitalisations

Why are injury and poisoning hospitalisation rates important?

Injury and poisoning have a major, but largely preventable, impact on the health of young Australians. They are a leading cause of hospitalisation among young people and can leave many with serious disability or long-term conditions, such as acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury. This can severely affect their future health and wellbeing as well as their employment, educational and recreational opportunities (AIHW: Pointer 2014; NPHP 2004).

Do rates vary across population groups?

In 2013–14, the rate of hospitalisation due to injury or poisoning among all young people aged 12–24 in Australia was 2,064 per 100,000. Those in the 18–24 age group had a higher rate (2,190 per 100,000) of injury and poisoning hospitalisation than those aged 12–17 years (1,896 per 100,000). Males had a higher rate of hospitalisation than females, with 2,744 per 100,000 and 1,348 per 100,000, respectively. Indigenous young people were more likely to be hospitalised due to injury and poisoning with a rate of 3,153 per 100,000, compared to Other Australians with a rate of 1,986 per 100,000.

What are the leading causes of injury and poisoning hospitalisations?

In 2013–14, the leading causes of injury and poisoning hospitalisations among young people were falls (385 per 100,000), transport accidents (380 per 100,000) and injury from inanimate mechanical forces (such as being struck or cut by something, exposure to an explosion, or having a foreign body entering through the eye, skin or other orifice) (326 per 100,000).

Has there been a change over time?

From 2004–05 to 2013–14, hospitalisation rates due to injury and poisoning were relatively stable for all young people and among young people of different age groups.

The injury and poisoning hospitalisation rate for males has been declining in recent years, having reached a peak of 3,169 per 100,000 in 2007–08, before decreasing to 2,745 per 100,000 in 2013–14. In contrast, the trend in hospitalisation rate for young females was less pronounced though steadily increasing from 1,236 per 100,000 in 2004–05 to 1,348 per 100,000 in 2013–14.

From 2004–05 to 2013–14, injury hospitalisation rates for Indigenous young people have increased from 2,698 per 100,000 to 3,153 per 100,000. During the same period, injury hospitalisation rates for young Other Australians were 2,100 per 100,000.

The leading causes of injury and poisoning hospitalisations among young people have remained similar since 2004–05.