Since its formation in June 2001, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has treated most of the British military personnel who have sustained serious maxillofacial injuries while serving abroad. We retrospectively analysed all recorded maxillofacial injuries of personnel evacuated to the RCDM between June 2001 and December 2007. We know of no existing papers that describe oral and maxillofacial injuries of military personnel, or workload in the 21st century. During the period 119 personnel with maxillofacial injuries were evacuated to the RCDM for treatment 83% of whom were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. In total 61% (72/119) of injuries were caused by improvised explosive devices, 9% (11/119) were gun shot wounds, and 1% were caused by aircraft incidents. A further 29% (35/119) of patients had injuries not associated with battle. The most common injuries were facial lacerations (106/119). There were 54 facial fractures of which 17 primarily affected the maxilla, and 15 the mandible. Associated injuries were to the brain (24%), torso (26%), upper limb (39%), and lower limb (31%). The number of maxillofacial injuries has risen over the last 7 years, and has also increased in proportion to the total number of injured soldiers evacuated between 2005 and 2007.
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