July 30, 2009—A study of hospitalizations for severe injury in Ontario’s designated trauma centres shows alcohol was involved in at least 12% of major trauma cases in 2007–2008. 2008 Major Injury in Ontario, released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), shows 526 patients hospitalized for severe injury were found to have blood alcohol concentration levels over the legal limit of 0.08% last year. Of these patients, half (262) were injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision; one in seven major trauma cases resulting from a motor vehicle collision involved people who were over the legal limit.
The CIHI study examined 4,354 hospitalizations for major trauma in Ontario’s 11 designated trauma facilities in 2007–2008. Major trauma cases are those that have an Injury Severity Score (an international coding system used to classify injury) greater than 12 and are treated at facilities that have been designated by the province of Ontario to provide specialized trauma care. These major trauma hospitalizations account for 7% of all hospitalizations in all acute care facilities in Ontario (the total number of hospitalizations for 2007–2008 was 62,920).
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The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) collects and analyzes information on health and health care in Canada and makes it publicly available. Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments created CIHI as a not-for-profit, independent organization dedicated to forging a common approach to Canadian health information. CIHI’s goal: to provide timely, accurate and comparable information. CIHI’s data and reports inform health policies, support the effective delivery of health services and raise awareness among Canadians of the factors that contribute to good health.