The ‘Other unintentional injuries’ category includes information on hospitalisations and injury deaths not categorised elsewhere on this website—that is, not principally caused by falls, transport accidents, submersion or drowning, accidental poisoning, contact with objects, contact with living things (excluding venomous animals and plants), or thermal causes.

In 2017–18, 13% of hospitalised injury cases and 12% of injury deaths were due to other unintentional injuries.

The causes of hospitalised injury in this category include:

  • overexertion and lack of basic necessities such as food and water
  • contact with venomous animals
  • accidental threats to breathing, such as choking on food or objects
  • electrocution, radiation, air temperature and pressure
  • forces of nature, such as storms, floods and heatwaves
  • other unspecified causes.

In 2017–18, other unintentional injuries resulted in:

71,208 hospitalisation cases

287 per 100,000 population

1,561 deaths

6.3 per 100,000 population

This article only includes data on injuries that result in hospital admission or death. If a person dies from an injury after being admitted to hospital, both the hospitalisation and the death is included in this report. For more information, see Defining injury hospitalisation cases and injury deaths.

What are the other unintentional causes of hospitalised injuries?

Table 1 shows the types of other unintentional injuries which most commonly caused hospitalisation in 2017–18.

Table 1: Other unintentional causes of injury hospitalisation cases, 2017–18

Cause

Number

%

Rate (per 100,000)

Overexertion, travel and privation (includes dehydration and lack of other basic necessities) (X50–57)

15,161

21

61.2

Contact with venomous animals and plants (X20–29)

3,497

5

14.1

Exposure to forces of nature (includes such storms, floods, heatwaves) (X30–39)

742

1

3.0

Exposure to electric current, radiation and extreme ambient air temperature and pressure (W85–99)

759

1

3.1

Other accidental threats to breathing (W75–W84)

843

1

3.4

Other or unspecified (X58–59)

50,206

71

202.5

Total

71,208

100

287

Notes:

  1. Rates are crude per 100,000 population, calculated using estimated resident population as at 31 December of the relevant year.
  2. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.
  3. Codes in brackets refer to the ICD-10-AM (10th edition) external cause codes (ACCD 2017).

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

For more detailed data, see Data tables B17–18.

Trends over time

Between 2008–09 and 2016–17, there was an annual average decrease of 0.1% in hospitalisation rates and an annual average decrease of 1.1% in death rates due to other unintentional causes of injury (Figure 1). Annual average rate changes are calculated using modelled age-standardised rates (see Technical notes for more details).

Because of changes in data collection methods, hospitalisation rates for 2017–18 are not included and should not be compared with rates for previous years (see Technical notes for more details).

Figure 1: Hospitalisation cases and deaths due to other unintentional causes of injury, by age group and sex, 2008–09 to 2016–17

The visualisation features 2 matching line graphs on separate tabs, 1 for hospitalisation cases and 1 for deaths. The 3 lines represent the trend for males, females and persons from 2008–09 to 2016–17 for hospitalisation cases and to 2017–18 for deaths. The reader can select to display rate per 100,000 population or number, and can select by life-stage age group including all ages.

For more detailed data, see Data tables C1–4 and E1–4.

How do rates vary by age and sex?

Injury hospitalisation and death rates differ for males and females, especially for certain age groups (Figure 2). In 2017–18:

  • 3 in 5 injury hospitalisations for other unintentional causes were for males (44,185 cases) and 2 in 5 were for females (27,020 cases)
  • 3 in 5 injury deaths for other unintentional causes were for males (906 deaths) and 2 in 5 were for females (655 deaths)
  • the age-standardised rates of injury hospitalisations due to other unintentional causes for males was 362 cases per 100,000 males, compared with 206 per 100,000 females
  • the age-standardised rates of injury deaths due to other unintentional injury for males was 6.6 per 100,000 males, compared with 4.2 per 100,000 females
  • people aged 15–24 had the highest rates of hospitalisations for other unintentional injury, followed by people aged 65 and older, compared with other life-stage age groups
  • people aged 65 and older had the highest rate of injury deaths due to other unintentional injuries, compared with other life-stage age groups.

Figure 2: Hospitalisation cases and deaths due to other unintentional injury, by age group and sex, 2017–18

The visualisation features 2 matching column graphs on separate tabs, 1 for hospitalisation cases and 1 for deaths. The columns represent sex within 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can select to display either age-specific rate per 100,000 population or number. The default displays males and females and the reader can also select to display persons.

For more detailed data, see Data tables A1–3 and D1–3.

How severe are hospitalised injuries due to other unintentional causes?

Three measures that may indicate the severity of a hospitalised injury are length of stay, percentage of cases with time in an intensive care unit (ICU), and percentage of cases involving continuous ventilator support.

The average duration of a hospital stay for other unintentional injuries was shorter than the overall average length of stay for all hospitalised injuries, and the percentages of cases that included time in an ICU or involved continuous ventilator support were lower than the overall percentage for hospitalised injuries (Table 2).

Table 2: Severity of other unintentional injury hospitalisation cases, 2017–18

 

Other unintentional injury

All hospitalised injuries

Average number of days in hospital

2.0

3.3

% of cases with time in an ICU

0.7

2.4

% of cases involving continuous ventilator support

0.2

1.2

Note: Average number of days in hospital (length of stay) includes admissions that are transfers from 1 hospital to another or transfers from 1 admitted care type to another within the same hospital, except where care involves rehabilitation procedures.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Which types of injury are sustained?

In 2017–18, the hip and leg (not including ankle and foot) was the body part most frequently injured in other unintentional injury hospitalisation cases, although this varied by cause of injury (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Hospitalisation cases due to other unintentional injury, by body part injured, 2017–18

The visualisation features an outline of a person with labels for body parts accounting for hospitalisations due to other unintentional injury. Injuries to the hip and lower limb (excluding ankle and foot) accounted for the most hospitalisations due to other injuries while the ankle and foot accounted for the fewest.

Note: Body part refers to the principal reason for hospitalisation. Number and percentage of injuries classified as Other, multiple and incompletely specified body regions or Injuries not described in terms of body region not shown—see Data table A11.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

For more detailed data, see Data table A11.

Soft-tissue injuries were the most common type of injury for people who were hospitalised due to other unintentional injury (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Hospitalised injury cases due to other unintentional injury, by type of injury, by sex, 2017–18

Bar graph showing type of injury sustained by category and by sex. Soft-tissue injury was the most common for males, while fracture was for females. The reader can select to display either the crude rate per 100,000 population or the number of cases. The default display shows data for males and females, and the reader can also select to display for persons.

For more detailed data, see Data table A12.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2017–18, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

  • there were almost 2,300 hospitalisations and 35 deaths due to other unintentional causes (Tables 3 and 4)
  • males, compared with females, were 1.5 times as likely to be hospitalised due to other unintentional causes
  • hospitalisation rates were higher among people aged 25–44, compared with other life-stage age groups (Figure 5).
Table 3: Number and rate of hospitalisation cases due to other unintentional causes by sex, Indigenous Australians, 2017–18

 

Males

Females

Persons

Number

1,393

887

2,280

Rate (per 100,000)

339

216

277

Note: Rates are crude per 100,000 population.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database; AIHW National Mortality Database.

Table 4: Number and rate of deaths due to other unintentional causes by sex, Indigenous Australians, 2017–18

 

Males

Females

Persons

Number

23

12

35

Rate (per 100,000)

6.3

3.3

4.8

Notes:

  1. Rates are crude per 100,000 population.
  2. Deaths data only includes data for New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database; AIHW National Mortality Database.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

In 2017–18, Indigenous Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians, after adjusting for differences in population age structure, were:

  • 1.1 times as likely to be hospitalised due to other causes of unintentional injury (Table 5)
  • 1.3 times as likely to die due to other causes of unintentional injury death (Table 6).
Table 5: Age-standardised rates (per 100,000) of injury hospitalisation cases due to other causes by Indigenous status and sex, 2017–18

 

Males

Females

Persons

Indigenous Australians

362

246

304

Non-Indigenous Australians

362

205

284

Notes:

  1. Rates are age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population (per 100,000).
  2. ‘Non-Indigenous Australians’ includes cases where Indigenous status is missing or not stated.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Table 6: Age-standardised rates (per 100,000) of injury deaths due to other causes by Indigenous status and sex, 2017–18

 

Males

Females

Persons

Indigenous Australians

10.2

n.p.

7.6

Non-Indigenous Australians

7.0

4.5

5.7

Notes:

  1. Rates are age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population (per 100,000).
  2. ‘Non-Indigenous Australians’ includes cases where Indigenous status is missing or not stated.
  3. Deaths data only includes data for New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database.

The age-specific rate of injury hospitalisation cases due to other causes of unintentional injury was highest among the 15–24 life-stage age group for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (Figure 5). Deaths data are not presented because of small numbers.

Figure 5: Other causes of unintentional injury hospitalisation cases by Indigenous status, by age group and sex, 2017–18

Column graph representing hospitalisation data for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can select to display age-specific rate per 100,000 population or number. The reader can also select to display data for persons, males or females.

For more detailed data, see Data tables A4–A6 and D4–D8.

Remoteness

In 2017–18, people living in Very remote areas, compared with people living in Major cities, after adjusting for differences in population age structure, were 1.4 times as likely to be hospitalised due to other causes of unintentional injury (Table 7). Comparison of data is more limited for deaths due to small numbers in some categories (Table 8). For this reason, readers are advised to use these data with caution.

Table 7: Age-standardised rates (per 100,000) of injury hospitalisation cases due to other causes by remoteness and sex, 2017–18

 

Males

Females

Persons

Major cities

345

199

272

Inner regional

391

219

306

Outer regional

411

222

318

Remote

454

282

371

Very remote

427

318

377

n.p. not publishable because of small numbers, confidentiality or other concerns about the quality of the data.

Note: Rates are age-standardised per 100,000 population.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Table 8: Age-standardised rates (per 100,000) of injury deaths due to other causes by remoteness and sex, 2017–18

 

Males

Females

Persons

Major cities

6.2

4.4

5.3

Inner regional

6.9

3.8

5.3

Outer regional

6.9

3.4

5.1

Remote

13.2

n.p.

8.2

Very remote

n.p.

n.p.

n.p.

n.p. not publishable because of small numbers, confidentiality or other concerns about the quality of the data.

Note: Rates are age-standardised per 100,000 population.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database.

In 2017–18, the age-specific rate for injury hospitalisations by remoteness area was highest for the 15–24 life-stage age group living in Remote areas (Figure 6). Deaths data are not presented because of small numbers.

Figure 6: Other causes of unintentional injury hospitalisation cases by remoteness, by age group and sex, 2017–18

Column graph representing hospitalisation data for each of the 5 remoteness categories by 6 life-stage age groups. The reader can select to display age-specific rate per 100,000 population or number. The reader can also select to display data for persons, males or females.

For more detailed data, see Data tables A7–A9 and D9–D10.

For information on how statistics by remoteness are calculated, see Technical notes.

More information

Technical notes —find out how the data were calculated.

Data tables—download full data tables.

Glossary

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