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Glossary of Terms
Adverse Effects, Medical - This category includes a series of codes clustered under "misadventures to patients during surgical and medical care", "surgical and medical procedures as the cause of abnormal reaction of patient or later complication, without mention of misadventure at the time of procedure", and "drugs and medicinal and biological substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic use".


Age-Specific Rate - A rate for a specified age group. The numerator and denominator refer to the same age group.


Cut/ Pierce - This category includes injuries caused by cutting and piercing instruments. Examples of cutting and piercing instruments include: knives, swords, daggers, power lawn mowers, power hand tools, household appliances.


Drowning - This category includes injuries from drowning/near drowning and submersion with and without involvement of watercraft.


E-code - Code indicating an external cause of an injury. Falls - This category includes injuries from falls. E codes specify the type of fall involved, for example: fall from steps/stairs, ladder, building, cliff, furniture.


Fire/Burn - This category includes injuries caused by fire and flames including those from smoke inhalation, such as in a residential fire. This category also includes injuries caused by hot liquids and steam. It does not include burns from electric current or from ultraviolet light sources (sunburn).


Firearms - This category includes injuries from firearms, including unintentional, suicide, homicide, legal intervention and undetermined intent.


Frequency - The number of times an event happens.


Homicide - The killing or intent to kill of one person by another.


Incidence - The number of instances of illness or injury during a given period of time in a specified population.


Injury - Any unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen.


Intentional Injury - Injuries that are purposely inflicted, either by a person to him/herself or to another person. Examples: suicide or attempted suicide, homicide, rape, assault, domestic abuse, elder abuse, and child abuse.


Morbidity - Deaths caused by injury and disease. Usually expressed as a rate, meaning the number of deaths in a certain population in a given time period divided by the size of the population.


Mortality - Number of persons, nonfatally injured or disabled. Usually expressed as a rate, meaning the number of nonfatal injuries in a certain population in a given time period divided by the size of the population.


Motor Vehicle Traffic - This category includes injuries traditionally called "Motor Vehicle Accidents". This category includes all injuries resulting from motor-vehicle-traffic injuries involving automobiles, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and other motorized cycles traveling on public roads.


Natural/Environmental Factors - This category includes injuries caused by excessive heat, excessive cold, hunger, excessive exposure to weather conditions, cataclysmic storms, cataclysmic land movement, and bites and stings.


NEC - Not Elsewhere Classifiable - mechanism of injury for which no specified E codes exist.


Other Specified - This category contains the codes for causes of injury deaths that are not assigned to specific categories within the matrix.


Other Specified, Not Elsewhere Classifiable - This category contains codes for mechanisms of injury that have been reported on the death certificate but for which no specified E codes exist. This category includes "assault by other specified means", late-effects codes, and injuries of undetermined intent.


Overexertion - Injuries that occur as a result of excessive physical exercise (i.e., lifting, pulling, pushing). Includes occupational, recreational, and other activities.


Pedal Cyclist - This category includes injuries among pedal cyclists not involving motor-vehicle traffic accidents. It includes persons hit by a train, or by a motor-vehicle while not in traffic or hit by other means of transport. This category is intended to include only injuries to pedal cycle riders, not all injuries involving a pedal cycle.


Pedestrian, Other - This category includes injuries among pedestrians hit by a train, a motor-vehicle while not in traffic or another means of transportation.


Poisoning - This category includes injuries caused by drugs, medicinal substances, and gases. This category also includes the type of substance, for example: alcohol, pain relievers (aspirin), and carbon monoxide. This category does not include "drugs, medicinal, and biological substances causing adverse effects in therapeutic use" (e.g. allergic reaction to prescribed medicine).


Prevalence - The number of instances of a given disease or other condition in a given population at a designated time.


Risk Factor - Characteristics of people, behaviors or environments that increase the chances of disease or injury occurring. Examples: alcohol use, poverty, gender.


Strategy - An overall plan for meeting a program's goals and objectives, that combines a set of interventions with the implementation plan.


Struck by/Against - This category includes injuries resulting from being struck or by striking against objects or persons. This category includes being struck (unintentionally) by a falling object, being struck or striking objects or persons (e.g. sports) and injuries sustained in an unarmed fight or brawl.


Suffocation - This category includes injuries caused by the inhalation or ingestion of food or other objects that block respiration and injuries caused by other mechanical means that hinder breathing (e.g., plastic bag over nose or mouth, suffocation by bedding, and unintentional or intentional hanging or strangulation).


Suicide or attempted suicide - The act of intentionally causing death or intending to cause death to oneself.


Transport, Other - This category includes injuries associated with various other means of transportation: railway, off-road and other motor-vehicles not in traffic, other surface transport, water and aircraft transport. For example injuries caused by streetcars, all-terrain vehicles (4-wheelers) and horse-and-carriages would be included here.


Unintentional Injury - Injuries that occur without intent to harm. "Accidents." Examples: Motor Vehicle Traffic, and most burns, drownings, and falls.


Unspecified - This category contains codes to accommodate cases where the mechanisms are not reported on the death certificate.


Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) - Calculated based on the following equation: YPLL = Fixed Age - Age at death. Usually the fixed age is 65 or 70, or the life expectancy of the group in question.