Road trauma related facial injuries and their management in Queensland, Australia

Batstone, Martin Druce (2007). Road trauma related facial injuries and their management in Queensland, Australia MPhil Thesis, School of Medicine, University of Queensland.

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Author Batstone, Martin Druce
Thesis Title Road trauma related facial injuries and their management in Queensland, Australia
School, Centre or Institute School of Medicine
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Total pages 99
Subjects 321024 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Occupational and Physical
Formatted abstract

Road traffic accidents cause severe facial injuries and are frequently associated with injuries to other organ systems. The aims of this study were to define the patient population who suffer facial injuries in road traffic accidents in Queensland, Australia and examine the course of their treatment from injury through to rehabilitation with specific reference to treatment delays. The study also aimed to examine the nature of facial and other organ system injuries suffered by victims of road trauma and assess the need for a multidisciplinary approach to their management.


A retrospective study of all patients over 14 years of age suffering facial injuries over a five year period was conducted at two tertiary referral trauma hospitals in Queensland, Australia. Data was collected on demographic and treatment details, the nature of their facial and other injuries and the impact of interspeciality management on their treatment. In addition a separate study was performed on paediatric dentoalveolar trauma presenting to a tertiary referral hospital in an attempt to more accurately define the nature of treatment delays.


Four hundred and nine patients were identified. Young adult males were the most commonly injured group. Delays in transfer were common and caused a delay in the management of the patients’ facial injuries. There were deficits in patient assessment and the ordering of appropriate investigations. The midface was injured more frequently than the mandible and the majority of patients had multiple facial injuries. Patients with multiple facial injuries were more likely to have injuries to other organ systems. Neurologic, orthopaedic, thoracic and abdominal injuries were common and impacted on the management of the patients’ facial trauma. The recording of post treatment outcome was poor. In the study on children with dentoalveolar trauma there were significant but reducible delays in the management of their injuries relating to both the patient’s transport and their hospital assessment and management.


The identification of young adult males allows a clear target for preventative measures. Education of staff in peripheral hospitals and the enhanced use of telemedicine facilities may help to streamline patient transfer. Road traffic accidents cause more severe facial trauma than other mechanisms of injury. Other organ systems are more likely to be involved. Head injuries, abdominal and thoracic injuries and orthopaedic trauma were common amongst the patients in this study and those with more severe facial injuries were more likely to have concomitant injuries. The management of other organ systems often impacts on their facial injury treatment demanding high levels of inter-speciality cooperation. The post treatment outcome recording and referral to rehabilitative services need to be improved.
Keyword Face -- Wounds and injuries
Traffic accidents -- Queensland

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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 15:19:59 EST