A 10-year review of child injury hospitalisations, health outcomes and treatment costs in Australia

Rebecca Mitchell, Kate Curtis, Kim Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Childhood injury is a leading cause of hospitalisation, yet there has been no comprehensive examination of child injury and survival over time in Australia. To examine the characteristics, temporal trend and survival for children who were hospitalised as a result of injury in Australia.

Method: A retrospective examination of linked hospitalisation and mortality data for injured children aged 16 years or less during 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2012. Negative binomial regression examined change in injury hospitalisation trends. Cox proportional hazard regression examined the association of risk factors on 30-day survival.

Results: There were 6 86 409 injury hospitalisations, with an age-standardised rate of 1489 per 1 00 000 population (95% CI 1485.3 to 1492.4) in Australia. Child injury hospitalisation rates did not change over the 10-year period. For every severely injured child, there are at least 13 children hospitalised with minor or moderate injuries. The total cost of child injury hospitalisations was $A2.1 billion (annually $A212 million). Falls (38.4%) were the most common injury mechanism. Factors associated with a higher risk of 30-day mortality were: child was aged ≤10 years, higher injury severity, head injury, injured in a transport incident or following drowning and submersion or other threats to breathing, during self-harm and usual residence was regional/remote Australia.

Conclusions: Childhood injury hospitalisation rates have not reduced in 10 years. Children's patterns of injury change with age, and priorities for injury prevention alter according to developmental stages. The development of a national multisectorial childhood injury monitoring and prevention strategy in Australia is long overdue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
JournalInjury Prevention
Volume24
Issue number5
Early online date2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • children
  • cost
  • hospitalisation
  • injury
  • mortality

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