Injury is commonly defined as: ‘any unintentional or intentional damage to the body ... caused by acute exposure to physical agents such as mechanical energy, heat, electricity, chemicals, and ionizing radiation interacting with the body in amounts or at rates that exceed the threshold of human tolerance’
Unintentional injuries are unintended, often described as ‘accidents’. We try to avoid using the term ‘accidents’ as it implies that injuries are random events due to chance.
Intentional injuries are the result of intended acts by people i.e., harm to one person by another (assault, homicide, neglect) or self-harm.
An injury 'hospital admission' is defined as an injury or poisoning that results in the person being admitted to a ward, short stay observation unit, medical assessment and planning unit, intensive care bed, mental health bed, same day accommodation, etc. and who is subsequently discharged alive or dies either on the same day or after one or more nights’ stay in a hospital bed.
Prior to July 2012 this definition included patients whose entire care occurred within an Emergency Department (ED) provided they received a minimum of 4 hours continuous treatment. From July 2012 if the patient’s entire care was provided within a designated emergency department or urgent care centre then the patient can no longer be classified as an admission regardless of the care provided.
'Setting' is the place or type of surroundings where something is positioned or where an event takes place. The settings are mutually exclusive. For hospital admissions all settings are defined exclusively by location coding except working for income. Working for income cases are defined by activity code OR compensable status. Further, preference is given to activity so cases with an activity recorded as working for income are defined as working for income. For ED presentations text descriptions were also used to identify some settings that were not covered by existing location or activity coding (i.e., area of still water/ stream of water/ large area of water/ beach & forest/ desert/ other specified countryside).
‘Home’ includes injuries occurring in homes, drive-ways, apartments, boarding houses, caravans, farmhouses, swimming pools/tennis courts in private residences.
‘Sports setting’ includes injuries occurring at any sports and athletics areas.
‘Road/street/highway’ includes injuries occurring on roadways, sidewalks and cycle-ways next to roads.
‘Residential institution’ includes injuries occurring in prisons, juvenile detention centres, military camps, orphanages, aged care facilities (nursing home/old people’s home/retirement village).
‘Working for income’ includes injuries occurring while the person was engaged in paid work or transportation to and from such activities.
‘Health service area’ includes injuries occurring to any person (i.e., patient, visitor) in hospitals, health centres, day procedure centres, hospices and outpatient clinics. Data presented here exclude ‘medical injuries’. Persons working for income are not included as they are counted in the working for income setting.
‘Trade and service area’ includes injuries occurring in shops/ stores, commercial garages, office buildings, cafes/hotels/ restaurants, airports, bus/radio/railway/television stations etc.
‘School & other educational institution’ includes injuries occurring in boarding/residential schools, colleges, day nurseries, institutes for higher education/universities, and kindergartens.
‘Other institution & public administrative area’ includes injuries occurring in buildings (including adjacent grounds) used by the general public such as an assembly hall, church, cinema, clubhouse, court house, dancehall, gallery, library, movie house, museum, music hall, opera house, public hall, theatre, youth centre etc.
'Area of still water/ stream of water/ large area of water/beach' includes injuries occurring at a dam, fen, marsh/swamp, pond, pool, reservoir, brook, canal, creek, river, stream, bay, lake, ocean, sea, foreshore, and sand dunes.
‘Farm’ includes injuries occurring in farm buildings/ranches or on land under cultivation, excluding the farm home.
'Forest/ desert/ other specified countryside' includes injuries occurring in a forest, desert, cave, gorge, mountain, outback, prairie, and wilderness.
‘Other specified location’ includes injuries occurring in campsites, public place, not elsewhere specified, railway line, zoo, parking lot, town camps etc.
‘Unspecified setting’ includes injuries occurring in an unspecified place of occurrence.