Injury Hospitalizations

A Culturally-Relevant Perspective on This Issue


The injury hospitalization rate refers to the rate of acute care hospitalization due to injury (excluding poisoning and other non-traumatic injuries) per 100,000 population[1]. Injury hospitalization can result from a variety of causes including: motor vehicle accidents, falls, burns, drowning, unintentional and self-inflicted injuries, assault, cuts, machinery accidents and natural/environmental causes to name a few [2].  Existing injury hospitalization data reports combined rates for Aboriginal people, though the majority of injury hospitalization data has been collected for the First Nations population. The lack of Métis- and Inuit- specific data is considered a major data gap, and is needed to address the high rate of injury hospitalization among these populations [3].

First Nations

Injury is a leading cause of hospitalization and deaths among First Nations people, responsible for over one quarter of all deaths in the population [4,5,]. First Nations girls and women in Manitoba are more than three times more likely to be hospitalized for injuries compared to their Non-First Nation counterparts[6]. The major cause for injury hospitalization among First Nations women is self-inflicted injury, including suicide attempts [8]. There are a number of factors that may place First Nations people at higher risk of injury including: increased geographic isolation and distance to emergency facilities; low family income; high rates of violence; unsafe housing and workplaces; easy access to fire arms; substance abuse, and a casual approach to child supervision [5].


Métis-specific injury hospitalization data are lacking, making it difficult to estimate injury hospitalization rates among this population. Métis-specific data is needed to better understand injury and injury hospitalization in this group.


Data about injury and injury hospitalization in Inuit populations are also lacking [7]. However, available data suggests the unintentional injury rate among the Inuit population in Nunavut and Nunavik to be 4-6 times the national average [8]. Evidence also suggests the suicide rate among Inuit populations to be 6-11 times higher than in the general population, the majority of these being attempted suicides. Attempted suicides are more prevalent among females and often results in injury hospitalization [9].  Sexual and physical abuse are likely another major cause for injury hospitalization, as the rates are estimated to be high among Inuit communities [3,10].