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Facial fractures in motor vehicle collisions: epidemiological trends and risk factors. Arch Facial Plast Surg 2009 May-Jun;11(3):165-70



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-67650122703   27 Citations


OBJECTIVES: To analyze epidemiological trends in facial fractures sustained in motor vehicle collisions and to identify the effects of occupant and crash-specific characteristics on the likelihood of injury.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis of vehicle occupants with facial fractures following a motor vehicle crash was performed using the population-based 1993-2005 National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System database. Injury trends were analyzed by calendar year and vehicle model year. A multivariate analysis was performed on biomechanical, demographic, and safety restraint data, with the calculation of odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: The incidence of facial fractures was found to be decreasing (P < .01), along with a declining probability of injury with newer car models (P < .01). Seat belts with frontal air bag use were associated with a significantly decreased probability of facial fracture (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.09-0.22). Air bags alone were not associated with a reduced probability of injury (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.58-1.06). Side impacts (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.14-2.86) and mismatch in the sizes of the crash vehicles (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.27-3.12) were associated with increased risk of facial fractures.

CONCLUSIONS: The probability of facial fractures from motor vehicle collisions is decreasing. This finding may be due to design improvements implicitly related to vehicle model year. Restraint use continues to be important for injury prevention, while factors such as changes in vehicle fleet composition may alter injury trends.

Author List

McMullin BT, Rhee JS, Pintar FA, Szabo A, Yoganandan N


Frank A. Pintar PhD Chair, Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin
John S. Rhee MD Chair, Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Aniko Szabo PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Narayan Yoganandan PhD Professor in the Neurosurgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Accidents, Traffic
Cohort Studies
Facial Bones
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Skull Fractures
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a