Head injuries are commonly seen in accident and emergency (A&E) departments and within this group a small proportion will have a temporal bone fracture. Thirty-four such cases were identified from a 7-year period and their case notes were reviewed. The mechanisms of injury included:falls outdoors (15 cases), falls in the home (eight cases), road traffic accidents (RTAs; seven cases), missiles (three cases) and non-accidental injury (one case). In 20 cases the fracture involved more than one cranial bone, and the implications of this with regard to non-accidental injury are discussed. CT scans were carried out in 14 cases and 11 of these showed intracranial haematoma. The criteria for CT scan following head injury in general, and temporal bone fracture in particular are discussed. Outcome measures indicated that those injured as a result of RTAs had the poorest outcome, followed by those who fell outdoors and then those who fell in the home.
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