Health United States 2020-2021

External cause of injury

The external cause of injury is used for classifying the circumstances in which injuries occur. External cause-of-injury matrices provide standardized categories for reporting injuries by mechanism (for example, fall or motor vehicle-traffic) and intent of injury (for example, unintentional, self-inflicted, or assault). The external cause-of-injury matrices are based on external cause-of-injury codes from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). For more information, see the NCHS website at:; and see: Hedegaard H, Johnson RL, Garnett MF, Thomas KE. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD–10–CM) external cause-of-injury framework for categorizing mechanism and intent of injury. National Health Statistics Reports; no 136. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2019. Available from: (Also see Sources and Definitions, Injury; Injury-related visit.)