Serious injuries

Serious injuries​

In the context of road safety, a serious injury is defined as a person injured in a road crash who needed to be admitted to hospital and who didn't die within 30 days of the crash.

By linking data from NSW Health, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), icare (Insurance & Care NSW) and the NSW Police Force, we have identified the number of serious injuries from crashes on NSW public roads.

Our interactive crash statistics provide evidence on serious injuries that wasn't previously available. Using this, we can better research and analyse road trauma, and develop targeted road safety initiatives to reduce serious injuries.

Our Serious Injuries in NSW, 2005 to 2015 (PDF, 3.82 MB) report has detailed information and explains our data linkage methodology.

The study found that many road-related serious injuries identified from hospital admission records weren't reported to police or couldn't be linked to a police crash report. This group of serious injuries (those not matched to a police report) is under further research.

NSW Serious Injuries - Quarterly (PDF, 634.56 KB) has recent information on serious injury trends.

Change in serious injuries numbers

In mid-2017, NSW Health made a change to its Hospital Admission Policy whereby Emergency Department (ED)-Only Admissions were no longer considered admitted patients and included in the Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC).

The reduction in serious injury numbers reported in recent editions of the Serious Injury Quarterly Bulletin during 2018 can now be largely explained by this change in Admission Policy.

As ED-Only Admissions will no longer be included in the APDC going forward, the decision was made to retrospectively recast all ED-Only Admissions in the existing hospitalisation trends so that they'll be comparable with the ongoing admission data.

Serious injury numbers have subsequently been recast and applied to the latest NSW Serious Injuries - Quarterly (PDF, 1.24 MB) and our interactive crash statistics.

Serious injuries (all hospitalised injuries)

Total serious injuries are made up of both those matched to police reports as well as those that could not be matched.

Serious injuries matched to police reports: A person identified in the police crash report data (casualty or traffic unit controller) matched to a hospital stay that isn't an ED-Only Admission (unless that ended in a transfer interstate, to private hospital or other medical facility). There must also be an injury diagnosis on the same day or the day after a crash. They must not die within 30 days of the crash or be linked to a Lifetime Care participant record.

Serious injuries not matched to police reports: A person not matched to a police report but has been identified as having an injury on a public road or injury on a traffic-public road. They must have had a hospital stay that isn't an ED-Only Admission (unless that ended in a transfer interstate, to private hospital or other medical facility).