Background and objectives : Oral and maxillofacial surgery is an integral part of the Emergency Department both for the immediate management of injuries that can compromise a patients vision, respiration, speech and feeding; and for expert consultation regarding pathologies that affect the maxillofacial region. Maxillofacial emergencies can vary from facial lacerations to complex facial fractures, bleeding from an extraction socket, fascial space infections compromising the airway, etc. The objectives were to examine the pattern and frequency of maxillofacial emergencies in our hospital and plan effective treatment strategies.
Methods : Data of all patients who reported to the emergency department of our hospital and were referred for maxillofacial consultation were recorded. The variables documented include age, gender, chief complaint and clinical presentation. In cases of trauma the cause of injury, nature of injuries, and associated injury if any (head injury, orthopedic injury, ophthalmological or abdominal injury) were also recorded. Data was entered in Microsoft Excel.
Results : A total of 354 patients (males – 261; females – 93) were referred for maxillofacial consultation. Out of 317 cases of trauma, 157 (49.52%) were due to road traffic accident, 78 (24.60%) had a history of fall from height and 38 (11.98%) suffered from interpersonal violence. Fifty patients had a mandibular fracture, 41 had dentoalveolar fracture and 16 had pan-facial fractures. There were 21 cases of fascial space infections, 9 cases of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dilslocation and 10 cases of bleeding from post-extraction sockets.
Conclusion : In our hospital, the major reason for maxillofacial consultation in the emergency setting was trauma due to RTA and mandible being the most common bone fractured.
Key words : maxillofacial trauma; mandibular fracture