Research Article| Volume 40, ISSUE 6, P614-619, November 1987

Assault and facial soft tissue injuries

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      A hypothesis that facial wounds are the most common soft tissue injuries resulting from assault has been tested by examining the records of 225 consecutive victims of assault (169 males, median age 22 years; 56 females, median age 24 years) attending the Accident and Emergency Department of the Bristol Royal infirmary during 1984/1985. Demographic factors including age and sex of patients and time, day and month of attendance were recorded.
      Results supported the hypothesis but significantly more men (72%) than women (57%) had facial injuries (χ2 = 12.2, p = <0.01). Chest, abdominal and limb injuries were proportionately more frequent in women (p = <0.001). Middle third wounds were the commonest facial injuried (affecting 59% of patients) followed by upper third (25%) and lower third (16%). Left-sided facial injury was more common than right-sided (χ2 = 14.6; p = <0.01). Young adult males most commonly attended, but very few elderly patients. “Risk” of assault appeared highest at weekends, between 10 pm and 2 am and between July and October. The involvement of plastic and oral surgeons in the treatment of assault victims is likely to be considerable.


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