Injury surveillance using hospital discharge abstracts coded by external cause of injury (E code)

Bernard Guyer, Gerry Berenholz, Susan S. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Current knowledge of the patterns of injury in the United States derive principally from mortality statistics that constitute less than 0.1% of all injuries reaching medical attention. There presently exists no national system for the surveillance of nonfatal injuries. To illustrate the usefulness and feasibility of conducting injury surveillance using E-coded hospital discharge data, we examined the surveillance data from the Massachusetts Statewide Childhood Injury Prevention Program. By using E-coded hospital discharge data, we increased the number of cases available for analysis by 40-fold over deaths, and we were able to describe the epidemiologic characteristics of the important causes of nonfatal childhood injuries. We therefore propose the development of a national injury surveillance system based on the Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set coded by both the nature of the injury (N Code) and external cause (E Code).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-473
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1990
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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