Injury data needs and opportunities in Europe

Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2009 Jun;16(2):103-12. doi: 10.1080/17457300902885769.


Targeted injury prevention needs information, and the basis is data. The EU Council Recommendation on injury prevention of 2007 recommends that Member States make better use of the existing data, and that they implement additional injury surveillance, when appropriate, in order to obtain comparable information. In almost all Member States, some data on injuries are available: on deaths, hospital discharges, external causes of injuries, traffic accidents and workplace accidents. It is examined how far these data meet the information needs of key stakeholders in injury prevention. General information about the health burden of injury, based on mortality and hospital discharges, is available and sufficient for identifying injury as a priority for health policy. Health indicators like lost life years, rates of hospitalisation, estimated rates of disabilities or health care costs could be derived, but are not widely available yet. Information about external circumstances (causes) of injuries is indispensible for targeted prevention, but only 12 countries have a harmonised surveillance system on external causes in place (European Injury Database IDB 2009). It is recommended that the harmonised collection of data on fatalities, hospital discharges and external causes of injuries should become compulsory within the new European health information system. The provision of harmonised injury indicators should be promoted. The surveillance system on external causes (IDB) should be implemented in countries without such system. National injury data administrators ('clearing houses') should be established for the provision of comprehensive injury reports and for serving the needs of key stakeholders in injury prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control