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Facial injury patterns in a UK paediatric population aged under 13 years


Background The aims of this study were to present the demographics and mechanisms of facial injury in UK children, and to establish the nature and anatomical location of facial injury in this age group.

Methods Patient data were collected retrospectively over 1 year from a paediatric Emergency Department in South East Scotland. Medical notes were examined for all patients coded on the electronic patient record as having any facial injury.

Results 593 patients attended with a facial injury. The median age of patients was 4.7 years. (IQR 2.4–7.5 years.), and the male to female ratio of facial injuries was 2:1. Injuries were predominantly from falls. Assault or violence was uncommon. Most common sites of facial injury were the lower third of the face and dento-alveolar injury. Facial fractures were rare and radiographic facial imaging was infrequently performed. Only eight facial fractures were diagnosed. 4.5% of all patients were admitted to hospital; 23% of the children were referred on to other specialities for follow-up, of these over half were to a dentist.

Conclusions A large number of children presented with facial injuries during the study period. Facial lacerations, oral trauma and dental trauma were the most common injuries. The majority of patients were dealt with without admission or referral to another speciality.

  • Ear nose and throat
  • maxillo-facial
  • paediatrics
  • paediatric injury

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