West of Ireland facial injury study. Part 1
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The pattern, presentation, and volume of facial injury in the west of Ireland are subjectively different from that in the United Kingdom. We know of no prospective regional study of facial injury in Ireland to date, and nationally there is no system in place to collect data on injury. The epidemiology of facial trauma has important implications for the development of health services, the education and training of clinicians, workforce planning, prevention of injury, and promotion of health. Over one week we did a multicentre prospective data collection study involving all emergency departments in the west of Ireland. All patients who attended with facial injuries were included, and those with injuries solely of the scalp and neck were excluded. The proforma recorded patients' characteristics, details of injury and presentation, treatment and follow-up. It also included relation with sport, alcohol, assault, and animals. During the study period 325 patients were injured (5% of attendances at emergency departments in the region). The mean was 29.8%, and 68% were male. Falls caused 39% of injuries, sport 27%, and assault 14%. Sixteen percent of patients were treated in oral and maxillofacial surgery departments, and 16% in plastics, and ear, nose and throat (ENT) departments combined. There were 166 serious injuries. The busiest 24h were from Saturday at 09:00. Forty-five percent presented between 1 and 2h after injury. Different approaches and methods may be needed to prevent injury because of differences in aetiology, and staff in emergency departments will need training in this area, given the large proportion of facial injuries in the region.
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