Objectives: To report the incidence of presentations to emergency departments (EDs) in Victoria for sport-and active recreation-related injuries; to establish which sports have the highest rates of injury per participant; to assess the effects of age and sport type on the rate of serious sport injury (resulting in admission to hospital). Design, setting and participants: Retrospective analysis of 171 541 ED presentations to 38 Victorian hospitals, 2012-13 to 2014-15. Sports-and active recreation-related injuries in people aged 5 years or more were identified from coded data and by text searches. Main outcome measures: Population rates of injuries by sport and ranking of sports by per participant injury rates (for people aged 15 years or more); proportions of presenting patients subsequently admitted to hospital (serious sport injuries) (for people aged 5 years or more). Results: During 2012-13 to 2014-15, there were 171 541 presentations to EDs with sports-related injuries. Sports most commonly associated with presentation by people aged 15 years or more were Australian football, motor sports, and cycling/ BMX; the highest per participant injury rates (people aged 15 or more) were for motor sports, rugby, and skateboarding/inline hockey/roller sports. 11% of ED patients aged 5 years or more were subsequently admitted to hospital; the odds of admission were highest for those with injuries from motor sports, horse riding, or cycling/BMX. Conclusions: Assessing sports injury rates corrected for participation rates and evaluating the relative severity of injuries is important for monitoring safety. Our findings can assist decisions about which sports should be the focus of injury prevention efforts.
Injury prevention is one of the Australian National Health Priority Areas.1 Injuries requiring medical attention place considerable demands on the health care system and are increasingly being recognised as a significant public health problem.2 Recent statewide data from Victoria show that the public health burden of sports injury, as a particular context for hospitalised injury, has increased significantly in recent times.3,4 Understanding whether sports injury rates vary by geographic regions in Vic would inform better health service delivery to redress identified health inequalities across regions and aid targeting of preventive programs.