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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Sep;64(9):1333-7.

All-terrain vehicle-related maxillofacial trauma in the pediatric population.

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General Surgery Resident-PGY 3, Department of Surgery, West Virginia University School of Medicine-Charleston Division, Charleston, WV, USA.



Nearly 40% of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crash-related fatalities involve pediatric patients, with many of these patients dying from head and neck injuries. West Virginia is in a unique position to examine these injuries because of its high rate of ATV use. This study examines craniofacial ATV-related trauma in children.


We conducted a single-center, retrospective, descriptive study of 26 children presenting with a craniofacial injury(ies) resulting from an ATV crash from January 2001 to December 2004.


Twenty-six children (65% boys) with a mean age of 13.1 years presented with craniofacial injuries during the study period. Two patients were helmeted. Mortality was 3.8% (n = 1, head injury related, postinjury day 3). Patients were most often drivers of the ATV (65%), although girls were more likely to be passengers (P = .03). Facial contusions, lacerations, and abrasions were highly prevalent (62%, 69%, 65%, respectively), as were fractures of the facial bones and skull (77%). Thirty-five percent sustained closed head injuries, which were significantly associated with mandible fractures (odds ratio 12.8%; 95% CI, 1.15-143). Mean length of hospital stay was 4.6 +/- 5 days, and 36% required an ICU stay (mean, 5.1 +/- 3 days). Twenty-four percent required ventilator support (mean, 107 +/- 43 hours; range, 48 to 168 hours). Operative intervention was required in 72% of patients (n = 18).


Maxillofacial injury patterns from ATV-related crashes in children suggest a high percentage of significant facial injuries and closed head injuries. As new ATV legislation that addresses operator use is enacted, a decrease in the number and severity of craniofacial injuries may be seen.

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