Maxillofacial Injuries Caused by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Jul;67(7):1442-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2009.03.019.


Purpose: To describe the pattern of maxillofacial injuries sustained by survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in the West China Hospital of Stomatology from May 12 to June 23, 2008.

Patients and methods: Cross-sectional data were analyzed using hospital-based records of earthquake survivors admitted to the West China Hospital of Stomatology. A self-designed form to record information about variables such as the gender and age of the survivors and type of location of soft and hard tissue injuries was used.

Results: The age of earthquake survivors of maxillofacial injuries ranged from 4 to 84 years. Fractures and soft tissue injuries were the most common of all injuries in the maxillofacial region, constituting 40.7% and 38.9%, respectively. Thirteen patients (11.5%) had dental injuries and 9 (8.0%) also had other organ injuries.

Conclusion: During the Wenchuan earthquake, the incidence of maxillofacial injuries in survivors was relatively low compared with injury in other organs. However, because most injuries were maxillofacial fractures and facial soft tissue damage, special attention was paid to maxillofacial injury when planning and providing emergency treatment. The effective management of earthquake injuries and those caused by other types of disaster requires a multidisciplinary approach, and maxillofacial surgeons should form an integral part of this multidisciplinary team.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disasters
  • Earthquakes*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology
  • Patient Care Team
  • Skull Fractures / epidemiology
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / epidemiology
  • Tooth Injuries / epidemiology
  • Young Adult