Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are one of the leading causes of injury in the U.S. National injury surveillance is commonly captured using E-codes. However, use of E-codes alone to capture MVC-related ED visits may result in a different picture of MVC injuries compared to using text searches of triage or chief complaint notes. In this study, we identify and describe how the case definition used to identify MVC patients can impact results when conducting MVC surveillance. We compare MVC patients identified using E-codes, text searches, or both criteria together. We found that choice of case definition impacts the picture of MVC severity.
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