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Written by Peter Carter

April 16, 2014

Injuries are the leading cause of travel-related deaths worldwide accounting for up to 25 times more deaths than disease say travel medicine researchers, Jeffrey Wilks & Michael Coory. 

This is particularly so in Queensland but surprisingly, the statistics are different for overseas visitors as compared to interstate visitors. It turns out that, overall motor vehicle crashes are the biggest single cause of hospital presentations, followed by falls.

German, English, American and Japanese tourists were more frequently involved in motor vehicle crashes than other nationalities. Diving and swimming accidents were also up there.

Queensland hospitals recorded significant differences between overseas visitors and locals in water-related injury rates.

Queensland is a worldwide destination for adventure travel. The number of overseas visitors admitted for decompression illness was significantly higher than interstate visitors and local residents. Regional hospitals recorded the largest number of admissions and the most occupied bed days.

Together, the 12 regional hospitals in this study provided services to 1,389 overseas visitors (53.5% of the admitted patients). The 22 Brisbane metropolitan hospitals treated 313 overseas visitors (12.1% of the admitted patients) but generally recorded longer stays (average 7.6 days).

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