Incidence of facial fractures in association with facial laceration from dog bites in the pediatric patient

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International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology


INTRODUCTION: Dog bite injuries occur in approximately 102 of every 100,000 population. Pediatric facial injuries due to dog bites are more common than in the adult largely due to height difference and ease of access for the dog to the head and neck region. Although majority are soft tissue injuries, pediatric facial fractures from dog bites are estimated at approximately 5%, with the true incidence unknown. We hypothesize that depth and facial subsite of laceration can indicate likelihood of facial fracture presence in pediatric patients with dog bite injuries.

METHODS: This single-institution retrospective study included 162 patients 18 years or younger (n = 162) who had an ICD-9 code of E906.0 or ICD-10 code of W54.0 for dog bites in the head and neck region between 1/1/2015 and 12/31/2019 and were treated in the emergency department by either an emergency department, otolaryngology, or plastics surgery provider. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to examine the association between patient age, sex, and dog size, and the outcomes: laceration depth (epidermis, dermis, muscle, bone), and facial subsite (upper, middle, lower third).

RESULTS: Males had a lower laceration penetration at the epidermis level (aOR = 0.36; 95% CI 0.19, 0.69) but a higher laceration penetration at the muscle level (aOR = 2.29; 95% CI 1.04, 5.04) compared to females. No significant findings were observed for the levels of dermis and bone. In the multivariable analysis, there were no significant associations to suggest facial fractures found between facial subsites and age, sex and dog size.

CONCLUSION: No significant associations between depth or facial subsite of facial injury from dog bites and the presence of facial fractures in pediatric patients except with regard to male sex and laceration level of epidermis and muscle.

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Dogs; Female; Male; Bites and Stings; Facial Injuries; Incidence; Lacerations; Retrospective Studies; Skull Fractures; Soft Tissue Injuries; Humans; Child; Adolescent

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