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Analysis of maxillofacial injuries caused by the 2010 Yushu earthquake in China
  1. Lijuan Guo1,2,
  2. Weihua Guo1,
  3. Rui Li1,2,
  4. Lei Sheng1,2,
  5. Bo Yang1,2,
  6. Wei Tang1,2,
  7. Lei Liu1,2,
  8. Wei Jing1,2,
  9. Hang Wang1,2,
  10. Weidong Tian1,2
  1. 1The State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, P.R. China
  2. 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, P.R. China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Weidong Tian, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, West China, College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, No. 14, 3rd Section, Renmin South Road, Chengdu 610041, P.R. China; drtwd{at}


Background The condition of maxillofacial injuries after a major earthquake is not well understood because of limited data. The purpose of this study was to describe the maxillofacial injuries caused by the 2010 Yushu earthquake in China.

Methods A total of 126 patients treated for seismic-related injuries at hospitals in the Chengdu area were investigated. Of the 126 patients, 46 (36.5%) had maxillofacial injuries. Gender, age, nationality and injury condition were recorded by talking with the patients and their families. The data were analysed using Microsoft Access 2003 and SPSS software programs.

Results For the 46 patients, the female to male ratio was 1.3:1 and the mean age was 36.7 years. Most patients (41, 89.1%) were Tibetan. The most frequent cause of maxillofacial injury was pressing/burying (34 patients, 73.9%). All patients with maxillofacial injuries sustained soft-tissue injuries, 13.0% had facial fractures and 4.3% had dentoalveolar injuries. The soft-tissue injuries were largely combined injuries; 84.8% were bruises and 80.4% were lacerations. The most common injury site was the zygomatic region (54.3%), followed by the forehead (43.5%) and the orbital region (34.8%). Of the six facial fractures, four involved nasal–orbital–ethmoidal region fractures. Most of the maxillofacial injuries (78.3%) were associated with other injuries, of which extremity injuries (55.6%) were the most common.

Conclusion An analysis of the maxillofacial injuries sustained during the Yushu earthquake revealed some of the features of seismic-related maxillofacial injuries. The results from this study may help physicians provide better medical services during future disasters.

  • Yushu earthquake
  • maxillofacial injuries
  • injury condition
  • clinical assessment

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  • LG and WG contributed equally to this work.

  • Funding This study was supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2008AA022501).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Institutional Animal Review Committee of Sichuan University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.