Nonfatal Injury Estimates

Starting with the 2009 data year, NSC adopted the concept of “medically consulted injury” to define the kinds of injuries included in its estimates. Previously, NSC used the definition of “disabling injury.” There is no national injury surveillance system that provides injury estimates on a current basis. The National Health Interview Survey, a household survey conducted by NCHS, produces national estimates using its own definition of medically consulted injury (Adams, Heyman, & Vickerie, 2009).

NSC uses the medically consulted injury estimates from the National Health Interview Survey for its motor vehicle, home and public injury estimates. Starting with the 2014 data year, a further refinement of the nonfatal injury estimate was implemented to better account for and remove intentional injuries. Because of this refinement, nonfatal estimates prior to 2014 are not comparable with current estimates. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines injury or illness using criteria including “medical treatment beyond first aid.”

NSC uses the total recordable case estimate defined by OSHA and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to estimate the number of workplace injuries. Because the BLS estimate excludes the self-employed, unpaid family workers and federal government employees, NSC uses total employment estimates, as well as BLS nonfatal estimates, to calculate the total number of nonfatal, medically consulted injuries.

Injury-to-death ratios

Because estimates for medically consulted injuries are not available for the current year, NSC uses injury-to-death ratios to estimate nonfatal, medically consulted injuries for the current year. Complete documentation of the procedure, effective with the 1993 edition, may be found in Landes, Ginsburg, Hoskin, and Miller (1990). The resulting estimates are not direct measures of nonfatal injuries and should not be compared with prior years.

Population sources

All population figures used in computing rates are estimates taken from various reports published by the Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, on its website. Resident population is used for computing rates.