Definitions for WISQARS™ Nonfatal

This help file section provides in-depth definitions of the terms used to represent data elements in WISQARS Nonfatal. You can access these definitions by topic section (below) or by the report request pages (click on an underlined word to view its definition).

5.1 Definition of Nonfatal Injury

5.2 Definitions for Nonfatal Injury Reports

5.3 Definitions for Leading Causes of Nonfatal Injury Reports

5.1 Definition of Nonfatal Injury

For this system, a nonfatal injury is bodily harm resulting from severe exposure to an external force or substance (mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical, or radiant) or a submersion. This bodily harm can be unintentional or violence-related.

WISQARS Nonfatal is based on data from hospital emergency departments.  This system did NOT count an emergency department case as a nonfatal injury if

  1. the principal diagnosis was an illness, pain only, psychological harm (such as anxiety or depression) only, contact dermatitis (skin irritation) associated with exposure to consumer products (such as body lotions, detergents, diapers) or plants (e.g., poison ivy),
  2. pain symptoms were indicated in the ED record, but an injury-related diagnosis was NOT specified;
  3. the visit was for adverse effects of therapeutic drugs or of surgical and medical care; or
  4. the principal diagnosis was unknown;
  5. the patient died on arrival at the ED or during treatment in the ED.2

WISQARS Nonfatal Injury Reports