Spinal Cord Injury Registry releases first report


Falls, sports, and vehicle accidents are the leading causes of traumatic injuries among the 161 people covered by the New Zealand Spinal Cord Injury Registry’s first report, says ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

“This report is the result of an unprecedented programme of data collection and analysis, and provides the most accurate picture to date of New Zealanders living with spinal cord injuries,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“It outlines trends in the traumatic spinal cord injury population such as age distributions; the types of injury and their causes; where people go to receive treatment; how long they are in hospital, and their physical functioning once they are discharged.

“The considerable level of detail in the data will hopefully provide new insights to researchers, health care providers, and policy makers that will support strategies and approaches to improve the care and outcomes for people with spinal cord injuries,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.

The Registry was set up in 2016 to improve information sharing and the understanding of spinal cord injuries, and the common complications that occur following injury.

Two-thirds of participants in the report suffered a trauma, with 36 per cent injured in a fall; 28 per cent during sport, and 23 per cent as the result of a vehicle accident. Non-traumatic injuries are largely due to degeneration, disease, cancer, or infection.

Snapshots from the report:

  • New Zealand Europeans make up 47 per cent of all participants in the report, followed by Māori (21 per cent), and Samoans (six per cent);
  • Māori have a much higher incidence of traumatic injuries (28 per cent of all traumatic injuries) than non-traumatic (eight per cent);
  • Males account for 73 per cent of all spinal cord injuries, and are more likely to suffer a traumatic (78 per cent) than non-traumatic injury (64 per cent);
  • Women are more likely to have non-traumatic (36 per cent) than traumatic injuries (22 per cent);
  • The Registry cover people aged 15 years and older. The youngest participant is 15 and the oldest 88. The average age is 51.

NZSCIR is jointly funded by the Accident Compensation Corporation, Canterbury District Health Board and Counties Manukau Health, in partnership with the Rick Hansen Institute (Canada).

View the report here.