Trauma registries are a potential source of data for local injury surveillance. Data from a trauma registry in a Level 1 trauma unit were collected for 1,412 admissions during a one-year period, and the characteristics of these severely injured patients and their injuries were examined. Three-quarters of the injuries were unintentional, and half were vehicle-related injuries. The availability of variables regarding medical cost, patient outcome, and insurance status permits a determination of the impact of these injuries on society in terms of both cost and quality of life. Since the trauma registry contains an account of the patient's hospital experience from admission to discharge and is available in electronic format, it can be a useful data source for establishing priorities and evaluating the effectiveness of injury prevention programs.