2007 - 2013 Halton Injury Report

This report provides the most recent Halton data on injuries requiring an emergency department (ED) visit and/or hospitalization, or any injury resulting in death.

Background and Purpose

Injuries are an important public health issue in both Halton Region and Ontario. The majority of injuries are predictable and therefore preventable. This report examines injuries requiring an emergency department (ED) visit and/or a hospitalization (2009-2013), as well as injury-related deaths (2007-2011). Comparisons are made between Halton Region and Ontario, and data is analyzed by sex, age group, community, and neighbourhood income. The purpose of this report is to inform program planning and policy in the area of injury prevention.

Methods

Data is from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care IntelliHEALTH Vital Statistics database. The data does not include injuries where residents did not seek medical care or care was sought via their doctors’ offices. All injuries captured in this report are classified based on the external cause of the injury (e.g., fall) and not the injury itself (e.g., broken bone). Deaths due to injury are only assigned one external cause, however ED visits and hospitalizations may have more than one.

Key Findings

  • Each year in Halton, injuries resulted in an average of 41,891 ED visits, 2,401 hospitalizations, and 173 deaths.
  • Leading causes of injuries in Halton (in order):
    • ED visits: falls, struck by or against an object, sports and recreation injuries
    • Hospitalizations: falls, self-harm, sports and recreation injuries
    • Deaths: falls, self-harm, motor vehicle collisions
  • In general, Halton residents experienced less injury-related ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths compared to residents of Ontario as a whole.
  • Children and older adults had the highest rates of unintentional injury ED visits and hospitalizations, while adolescents and younger adults had the highest rates of intentional injury ED visits and hospitalizations.
  • Income was associated with the rate of injury among Halton residents, as the rate of injury generally increased as neighbourhood income decreased.
  • Municipality was also associated with injury rates. For many types of injuries, Acton had a higher rate of injury than the other municipalities in Halton. However, Acton only accounted for 3% of all injuries resulting in ED visits or hospitalizations in Halton.
  • Falls: The rate of ED visits and hospitalizations due to falls was lower in Halton residents than Ontario (with the exception of hospitalizations due to falls in those aged 85 and older). The mortality rate due to falls was significantly higher among Halton residents than Ontario, specifically in those aged 75 and older. Overall, injuries attributed to falls increased with increasing age.
  • Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs): The hospitalization and mortality rate due to MVCs was lower in Halton residents compared to Ontario. Young adults and older adults had the highest rates of injuries due to MVCs. MVC injuries in Halton residents most commonly involved cars, other motor vehicles (such as 3-wheel, industrial and agricultural vehicles), and motorcycles.
  • Unintentional poisonings: Residents of Halton Region had lower rates of ED visits and deaths due to unintentional poisoning compared to Ontario overall. The rate of ED visits due to unintentional poisoning was highest among children aged 0-4. The rate of hospitalization due to unintentional poisoning was higher among females, whereas the mortality rate due to unintentional poisoning was higher among males. Females aged 15-19 and adults over the age of 80 had the highest rates of hospitalizations. The majority of unintentional poisonings in Halton were due to improper use of medication and illicit drug use.
  • Sports and recreation: Halton residents had a lower mortality rate due to sports and recreation related injuries compared to Ontario residents. Rates of ED visits and hospitalizations were highest among adolescents and young adults. Hockey, cycling, and skiing/ snowboarding were the top three most common causes of sports and recreation related injuries among Halton residents.
  • Assault and Self-harm: Halton residents had lower rates of ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to both assault and self-harm compared to Ontario. Rates of assault were highest among teenagers and young adults in Halton. The highest rate of self-harm was among 15-19 year olds for ED visits and hospitalizations.