Technical notes

This report aims to count and describe injury incidents that result in hospital admission and/or death.

Our counting method is different to some other AIHW reporting, where each use of a service may be counted (e.g., MyHospitals), rather than each causal incident. A single incident can lead to more than one use of a service. Our exclusion method minimises double counting where possible.

If a person dies from an injury after being admitted to hospital, both the hospitalisation and the death were counted for this report.

Injury hospitalisations

The terms ‘injury hospitalisation’, ‘hospitalised injury’ and ‘hospitalised case’ in this report refer to incidents where a person was admitted to hospital with injury as the main reason. If a single incident led to an admission in more than one hospital, the incident has only been counted once.


To avoid double-counting hospitalisations for injuries, we have excluded admissions that are transfers from another hospital and admissions with rehabilitation procedures (except for acute hospital admissions).

Emergency department (ED) care is a form of non-admitted hospital care and is not counted here. See the AIHW MyHospitals topic for information on ED presentations due to injury.

Injuries caused by complications of surgery or other medical care, or injuries that are a subsequent condition caused by a previous injury, are not included in this report.

Date of admission versus separation

The seasonal differences figures and tables in this report were based on date of admission data, to approximate the dates of the injuries causing the hospitalisations. All other annual totals were based on year of separation.

Separation does not necessarily occur in the same month (or year) as admission. Partly because of this, summing the counts in the seasonal differences tables would produce slightly different numbers than the annual totals. Also, the admission counts were adjusted to suit comparison between months of different length.

Injury deaths

While death records have many of the same fields as hospital records, there are subtle differences in the way they are structured.

It is not always possible to determine the main cause of death when multiple causes are involved. For this reason, a different selection criterion must be applied to reasonably identify where injuries played a role. As a result, each death where injury played a role has been counted once in the total for this report, but in some cases counted in more than one injury cause category.

To understand the analysis in more detail, please find below:

  • Injury hospitalisations in Australia, 2020–21: about the data
  • Injury deaths in Australia, 2019–20: about the data
  • Appendix tables specifying the ICD-10 codes used for each cause category

Injury hospitalisations in Australia, 2020–21: about the data

Injury deaths in Australia, 2019–20: about the data