Etiology, pattern and outcome of management of facial lacerations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Background: Facial laceration is amongst the commonly encountered soft tissue injury in the care of the traumatized patients, and its optimal treatment is important for minimizing subsequent complications. This study aimed at determining the etiology, pattern, and outcome of management of facial lacerations among patients attended at Muhimbili National Hospital, Tanzania.
Methods: This was a four months’ prospective study of all consecutive patients with facial lacerations who were attended in the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery of the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). The variables examined included socio-demographic characteristics, etiology of a facial laceration, prior management before referral to MNH, and the outcome of treatment. The data were analysed using IBM SPSS statistics for windows version 22 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp) software.
Results: Seventy-six patients with facial lacerations were included in the study. The male to female ratio was 8:1. The age of the patients ranged from 16 to 57 years, with a mean age of 31.63 ± 10.02 years. Motor traffic crashes (51, 67.1%), violence (18, 23.7%) and falls (7, 9.2%) were the etiological factors. The commonest affected facial esthetic zones were forehead (25, 32.9%), and the upper lip (24, 31.6%). The majority (60%) of wounds that were sutured/repaired in other health facilities prior to referral to MNH had a poor approximation of wound edges. Scarring was the commonest complication.
Conclusion: Facial laceration affected males eight times more than females. Road traffic crash was the most common etiological factor. The forehead was the most frequently affected facial esthetic zone. The majority of patients treated in other health facilities prior to referral to a tertiary hospital had poorly approximated wound edges. Scarring was the most common complication of facial lacerations.