Background Unintentional injuries are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The incidence of unintentional injury and death from unintentional injury are associated with higher levels of area-level socioeconomic deprivation in the UK. The UK is one of the few developed nations in the world without a national injury data collection system or database. A pilot injury data collection exercise at the emergency departments of Oxford University Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust (OUH) ran from 2012 to 2014 to inform the current development of the new NHS England emergency care data set.
Methods Data collected at the two emergency departments of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from 01 January 2012 to 30 March 2014 were analysed for Oxford City and Cherwell District Council areas.
Results Of the 63 877 injury attendances recorded at the two sites, 26 536 were unintentional with a home postcode within Oxford City or Cherwell District Council areas. The most frequent location, mechanism, activity and diagnosis were home (39.1% of all unintentional injuries), low-level falls (47.1%), leisure (31.1%) and ‘injuries to unspecified part of trunk, limb or body region’ (20.5%), respectively. The most deprived quintile of the population (Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 1) had the highest European Age Standardised Rate (EASR) for all unintentional injuries and IMD 5 had the lowest, 54.4 (95% CI 52.3 to 56.5) and 32.2 (31.4 to 33.0) per 1000 person years, respectively. There was a significant association between increasing levels of deprivation and an increasing incidence rate ratio (IRR) for all unintentional injuries, for those in the home, for low-level fall unintentional injuries and for non-sport leisure unintentional injuries with a particularly sharp increase in the IRR for IMD 1 compared with IMD 5. Sport-related injuries were inversely related to deprivation apart from football.
Conclusion This pilot has demonstrated both the feasibility and importance of prioritising the collection of a national injury data set.
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