This category covers unintentional injury hospitalisations and deaths not principally caused by any of the main causes described in the other chapters of this report, or where there may not have been enough information gathered to specify the cause. This represents 9% of hospitalised injury cases and 2% of injury deaths.

In 2019–20, other unintentional causes resulted in:

49,900 hospitalisation cases

195 per 100,000 population

270 deaths

1.1 per 100,000 population

The causes of hospitalised injury in this category are classified as:

  • exposure to other specified factors, and
  • exposure to unspecified factor.

Other unintentional causes of hospitalised injury

Table 1 shows the other unintentional cause categories recorded for injury hospitalisations and deaths in 2019–20.

Table 1: Other unintentional causes of injury hospitalisation and death, 2019–20

Cause

Hospitalisations

%

Rate
(per 100,000)

Deaths

%

Rate (per 100,000)

Exposure to other specified factors (X58)

2,127

4

8

6

2

0.0

Exposure to unspecified factor (X59)

47,748

96

187

263

98

1.0

Total

49,875

100

195

269

100

1.1

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 (11th edition) external cause codes (ACCD 2019).

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

For more detail, see Data tables B25–26 and E36–38.

Seasonality and COVID-19

Hospital admissions for injuries due to other unintentional causes appear to display a weak seasonal pattern, typically peaking over winter and declining over the warmer months.

In March 2020, the first lockdowns and social distancing measures associated with COVID-19 interrupted the usual activity of many Australians. The restrictions to movement and activity coincided with a sharp drop in overall injury hospitalisations. For this category, there were 31% fewer admissions from March to May than the in same period of the previous year. As initial restrictions eased, admissions rose in May and June, though they remained below previous levels.

See the interactive COVID-19 display for data and further discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on hospital admissions.

Figure 1: Hospitalisations due to other unintentional causes by month, 2017–18 to 2019–20

Notes
1. Months have been standardised to 31 days.
2. A scale up factor has been applied to June admissions to account for cases not yet separated.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Variation by age and sex

Injury hospitalisation and death rates differ for males and females in this category, especially for certain age groups (Figure 2). In 2019–20:

  • 3 in 5 hospitalisations and 2 in 3 deaths were for males
  • the age-standardised rates of hospitalisation were 249 cases per 100,000 males and 139 per 100,000 females
  • the age-standardised rates of death were 1.3 per 100,000 males, and 0.5 per 100,000 females
  • people aged 15–24 had the highest rates of hospitalisations in this category
  • people aged 65 and older had the highest rate of injury deaths in this category.

Figure 2: Hospitalisations and deaths due to other unintentional injuries, by age and sex, 2019–20

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 detail, see Data tables A1–3 and D1–3.

Severity

There are many ways that the severity, or seriousness, of an injury can be assessed. Using available data, three measures of the severity of hospitalised injuries are:

  • number of days in hospital
  • time in an intensive care unit (ICU)
  • time on a ventilator.

Based on these, injuries in this category are less severe than the average for all injuries (Table 2).

Table 2: Severity of other unintentional injury hospitalisations, 2019–20

 

Other unintentional injuries

All hospitalised injuries

Average number of days in hospital

2.3

4.5

% of cases with time in an ICU

0.5

2.4

% of cases involving continuous ventilatory support

0.2

1.4

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.

For more detail, see Data tables A12–13.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2019–20, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

  • there were more than 1,600 hospitalisations (Table 3) and 8 deaths due to other unintentional causes
  • males were 1.6 times as likely as females to be hospitalised
  • hospitalisation rates were higher among people aged 25–44, compared with other life-stage age groups (Figure 5).
Table 3: Hospitalisations due to other unintentional injuries, by sex, Indigenous Australians, 2019–20

 

Males

Females

Persons

Number

1,032

634

1,666

Rate (per 100,000)

242

148

195

Note: Rates are crude per 100,000 population.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

In 2019–20, Indigenous Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians, were 1.1 times as likely to be hospitalised due to other causes of unintentional injury, with some variation for the male and female populations (Table 4).

Deaths are not compared here because of low numbers.

Table 4: Age-standardised rates (per 100,000) of hospitalisation due to other unintentional injuries, by Indigenous status and sex, 2019–20

 

Males

Females

Persons

Indigenous Australians

263

160

211

Non-Indigenous Australians

242

135

189

Notes

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

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

For more detail, see data tables A4–6 and D4–6.

The age-specific rate of injury hospitalisation cases due to other causes of unintentional injury was highest among the 25–44 age group for Indigenous Australians and highest in the 15–24 age group for non-Indigenous Australians (Figure 3). Deaths data are not presented because of small numbers.

Figure 3: Hospitalisations due to other unintentional injuries, by Indigenous status, by age group and sex, 2019–20

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.

Visualisation not available for printing

For more detail, see Data tables A4–6 and D4–8.

Remoteness

In 2019–20, people living in Remote areas, compared with people living in Major cities, after adjusting for differences in population age structure, were 1.3 times as likely to be hospitalised due to other causes of unintentional injury (Table 5). Deaths data is not compared here due to small numbers in more remote areas.

Table 5: Age-standardised rates (per 100,000) of hospitalisation due to other unintentional injuries, by remoteness and sex, 2019–20

 

Males

Females

Persons

Major cities

245

138

192

Inner regional

248

138

193

Outer regional

272

134

204

Remote

312

193

254

Very remote

251

192

223

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

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

In 2019–20, 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 4).

Figure 4: Hospitalisations due to other unintentional injuries, by remoteness, by age group and sex, 2019–20

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 detail, see Data tables A7–9 and D9–10.

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

More information

Defining injury hospitalisations and deaths: how injuries were counted

Technical notes: how the data were calculated

Data tables: download full data tables

Glossary