Technical notes


This report counts and describes injury incidents that result in emergency department presentations, hospital admissions and/or death.

Our counting method is different to some other AIHW reporting (such as MyHospitals), where each use of a service may be counted rather than each incident. A single incident can lead to more than one use of a service. Our exclusion method minimises the associated double counting but does not eliminate it.

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 minimise 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).

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.

Injury emergency department presentations

Emergency department (ED) care is a form of non-admitted hospital care separate to hospitalisations data. While emergency department presentation records have many of the same fields as hospital records, there are key differences in the way they are structured.

A notable distinction in ED records compared with hospitalisations and deaths, is the lack of external cause data. Additionally, there are unique variables only found within ED records such as triage category and waiting time that cannot be compared against hospitalisations and deaths.

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

  • Spinal injury hospitalisations in Australia, 2020–21: about the data
  • Spinal injury emergency department presentations in Australia, 2020–21: about the data
  • Spinal injury deaths in Australia, 2020–21: about the data
  • Appendix tables specifying the ICD-10 codes used for each cause category.