Unintentional home injuries reported by an emergency-based surveillance system: incidence, hospitalisation rate and mortality

Accid Anal Prev. 2006 Sep;38(5):843-53. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2006.02.009. Epub 2006 Mar 29.


Objective: The aim of this study is to quantify the incidence of home injuries using an integrated surveillance system. It aims to estimate home accident mortality.

Material and methods: The sources of data for this epidemiological descriptive study were the emergency information system, the hospital information system and the mortality registry of Lazio Region, 2000-2001. We selected all emergency department (ED) visits for unintentional traumas that occurred at home. We calculated incidence of ED visits, hospitalisation and mortality rates by sex and age.

Results: In the year 2000, 145101 persons visited the ED (2700/100000), 8.1% of whom were then admitted to the hospital. Incidence was higher among children and older people. We observed 620 fatalities, a rate of 0.43%. The mortality registry reported 1042 deceased, a home accident-related mortality rate of 31.1/100000.

Conclusions: Unintentional injuries in the home are a relevant public health problem. Since none of the databases used in the study give a complete measure of the burden of home injuries, we combined the data from all of them to estimate the mortality and the burden of home injuries. Interventions for prevention must identify the specific accidents/injuries they are trying to reduce in order to focus their intervention on the appropriate population.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / mortality
  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospital Information Systems
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Medical Record Linkage
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*