Purpose: Baseball bats, although meant for recreational use, are also frequently used as assault weapons, resulting in multiple types of injuries including those in the maxillofacial region. This report reviews the patients admitted to the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Service with maxillofacial injuries caused by blunt trauma from assault with a baseball bat between July 1989 and January 1994.
Patients and methods: Records of 29 patients were reviewed for age, sex, race, Glasgow Coma Scale, associated drug or alcohol use, type of injury, and associated injuries.
Results: In this inner city hospital study it was found that 18 of the patients (62%) were African-American and that 74% of the victims had associated alcohol abuse and 38% had associated drug abuse. Of the 29 patients, 27 (93%) were men and 23 (79%) were between the ages of 21 and 40 years. The majority of fractures involved the midface region and nearly half the patients had concomitant neurologic injury. Two patients died as a result of their injuries.
Conclusion: Assaults with a baseball bat can result in significant morbidity and even mortality.