Maxillofacial skeletal injuries following boat accidents in a Coastal Town, Calabar South-South Nigeria.
Objectives: The purpose of this article is to highlight the increasing occurrence of maxillofacial skeletal injuries from boat accidents in our environment and also to present our management modalities as experienced in our center.
Materials and Methods: The case notes of the 6 maxillofacial skeletal injuries from boat accident were retrieved from the 200 maxillofacial injuries cases seen and treated at the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery unit of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar between January 2000 and December 2004. Data collected and analyzed
include, patients age, occupation, time of presentation, clinical and radiographic findings and management modalities.
Results: Out of the 6 patients recorded 4 (66.7%) were males while 2 (33.3%) were females given a male-to-female ratio of 2:1. They were between the ages of 25-40 years and all had multiple facial fractures. Two (33.3%) patients (1 male and 1 female) were unconscious at the
time of presentation and despite the multidisciplinary approach to their management, they died after fourteen days of hospitalization in our intensive care unit.
Conclusion: Boat accidents though uncommon, are drawing more attention as transportation through water ways is becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria. Since most of the maxillofacial injuries are usually severe and life threatening, the traffic agents in coastal areas should therefore, be prpared for any eventuality while the maxillofacial surgeons should also brace up to the challenges associated with the management of maxillofacial injuries resulting from boat accidents.