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J Craniofac Surg. 2016 Jan;27(1):128-30. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002185.

Pediatric Facial Fractures.

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*David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA †UCLA Center for World Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA ‡Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa §Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa.



There are few published articles describing the epidemiology of facial fractures in South Africa, and there is only one published study in pediatric patients.


This study retrospectively reviewed all medical records in a major metropolitan pediatric hospital in Cape Town, South Africa from September 2006 through May 2014. Inclusion criteria were children aged under the age of 13 with facial fractures. Fractures were assessed through head computed tomography (CT) scans. Patient's age, sex, cause of injury, general condition, existence of concomitant injuries, location of fractures, type of interventions, and length of stay were recorded and analyzed.


A total of 53 men and 34 women were included in the study. Motor vehicle collisions (MVC) were the most common cause of facial fractures (56.3%). One hundred thirty facial fractures were presented on CT scans. The most common fractures in this study were mandible (43.1%). Comparing unrestrained motor vehicle collisions (UMVC) patients with those of other etiologies (OE), there was an increase in the average number of fractures (OE: 1.1, UMVC: 1.9; P < 0.0001), the average length of stay (OE: 4 days, UMVC: 9 days; P < 0.003), and the probabilities of sustaining concomitant injuries (OE: 31.0%, UMVC: 68.8%; P < 0.05) and requiring an operation (OE: 42.3%, UMVC: 81.3%; P < 0.01).


This study establishes MVC as the most common etiology of facial fractures in South Africa. It demonstrates an increase in the complexity of facial injuries in unrestrained MVCs, suggesting the need for public awareness campaigns to install restraint devices in automobiles in South Africa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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