Health United States 2020-2021


The International Classification of External Causes of Injuries (ICECI) Coordination and Maintenance Group defines injury as a (suspected) bodily lesion resulting from acute overexposure to energy (mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical, or radiant) interacting with the body in amounts or at rates that exceed the threshold of physiological tolerance. The time between exposure to the energy and the appearance of an injury is short. In some cases, an injury results from an insufficiency of any of the vital elements (that is, air, water, or warmth), as in strangulation, drowning, or freezing. Acute poisonings and toxic effects, including overdoses of substances and wrong substances given or taken in error, are included, as are adverse effects and complications of therapeutic, surgical, and medical care. Injuries can be intentional or unintentional (that is, accidental). In National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data systems, external causes of nonfatal injuries are coded to the International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification. Also see the NCHS injury website at: (Also see Sources and Definitions, Diagnosis; Injury-related visit; International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification [ICD-CM].)

Page last reviewed: August 12, 2022