Dangers beyond drowning: craniomaxillofacial trauma in adult water activities

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PURPOSE: Water recreation is one of the most popular activities for both fitness and leisure. The dangers of water activities have mostly been examined in the context of drowning and general bodily injuries. Despite the existing research, little is known about adult maxillofacial injuries in these settings.

METHODS: We accessed the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System in order to identify adult patients presenting to emergency departments with traumatic maxillofacial injuries secondary to a water-based sport or activity over the most recent 10-year period (2009-2018). Data collected included demographical information, anatomical location, mechanism of injury, and visit circumstances, as well as visit disposition.

RESULTS: A total of 1350 total patients were identified as appropriate for study inclusion. Young, Caucasian male adults were the most common age group to present with maxillofacial injuries secondary to water sport activities. Surfing and water skiing were associated with lacerations, while diving board incidents posed a higher fracture risk. Patients participating in all water activities were more likely to be treated and released rather than admitted.

CONCLUSION: There appears to be a distinct pattern profile for individuals who sustain maxillofacial trauma while participating in water sports: young, Caucasian males in particular. Additionally, specific activities may be associated with varying injury types. The results of this study may increase interest in legislature and patient counseling when seeking such activities.


This article was published in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s10006-020-00869-0.

Copyright © 2020 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

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