Epidemiology of facial fracture injuries

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Oct;69(10):2613-8. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.02.057. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Purpose: Injuries resulting from accidents are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. The objective of this study was to present epidemiologic estimates of hospital-based emergency department (ED) visits for facial fractures in the United States.

Materials and methods: The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample for 2007 was used. All ED visits with facial fractures were selected. Demographic characteristics of these ED visits, causes of injuries, presence of concomitant injuries, and resource use in hospitals were examined. All estimates were projected to national levels and each ED visit was the unit of analysis.

Results: During 2007 in the United States, 407,167 ED visits concerned a facial fracture. Patients' average age for each ED visit was 37.9 years. Sixty-eight percent of all ED visits concerned male patients, and 85,759 ED visits resulted in further treatment in the same hospital. Three hundred fourteen patients died in EDs, and 2,717 died during hospitalization. Mean charge per each ED visit was $3,192. Total United States ED charges were close to $1 billion. Mean hospitalization charges (ED and inpatient charges) amounted to $62,414. Mean length of stay was 6.23 days, and total hospitalization time in the entire United States was 534,322 days. Frequently reported causes of injuries included assaults (37% of all ED visits), falls (24.6%), and motor vehicle accidents (12.1%).

Conclusions: The management of maxillofacial fractures in EDs across the United States uses considerable resources. The public health impact of facial fractures is highlighted in the present study.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Databases, Factual
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / economics
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Episode of Care
  • Facial Bones / injuries*
  • Female
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Charges / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Medically Uninsured / statistics & numerical data
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Transfer / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Skull Fractures / economics
  • Skull Fractures / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data