Introduction: The elderly represent an increasing proportion of society. Management of maxillofacial trauma in this population may be complicated by coexisting medical conditions, requiring multidisciplinary care.
Methods: This retrospective audit assesses the incidence and pattern of maxillofacial trauma in elderly patients (60 years) presented to the Merseyside Regional Maxillofacial Unit. Over the time period of 2003, 2004 and 2005, 7905 trauma patients presented to the accident and emergency department, of whom 757 were elderly (10%).
Results: Results indicated that the male to female ratio was 1: 1.4. The commonest cause of injury was a fall (83%) followed by an assault (6%); the majority of falls occurring in the home.
Conclusion: Management of maxillofacial injuries in this population should focus on targeted prevention programmes, which address known risk factors for falling. We believe that this is a public health issue. Members of the maxillofacial team should be aware of common risk factors of falls in elderly. Better collaboration with the Medicine for Elderly team should be considered at an early stage on managing these patients.