Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2023 Aug 3:S0266-4356(23)00205-X. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2023.07.010. Online ahead of print.
Concussion is a common and potentially debilitating condition. Research has shown that one-third of patients admitted with facial trauma have concurrent concussion. This study aimed to investigate the burden and management of concussion in patients presenting with acute facial trauma, and to identify potential risk factors within this population. A retrospective observational study was conducted at a UK major trauma centre between 1 January 2019 and 1 February2020. One hundred randomly selected patients who attended the acute clinic responsible for managing facial trauma were identified. No parametric data were included. The Mann-Whitney test was used to detect differences for continuous data, the X2 test for categorical data. Clinical significance was defined as p < 0.05. Forty of 100 patients (40%) had evidence of concussion, of which only 4/40 (10%) had evidence that head injury advice had been given. There was no statistically significant difference between the non-concussed and concussed groups for age (p = 0.145), gender (p = 0.921), mechanism of injury (p = 0.158), or location of facial injury (p = 0.451). Clinical features of concussion were found in 40% of patients suffering from facial injury. Despite this, we found that head injury advice was rarely given. In addition, we identified no risk factors for concussion within this population, highlighting the need to screen all patients who present with facial injury. To improve the identification and management of concussion in these patients, future work should focus on the development of simple screening tools for use in clinic, and the signposting of patients to existing written and online concussion resources.