Impalement injuries of the oral cavity in children: a case report and survey of the literature
Article first published online: 19 SEP 2006
International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 66–71, January 2007
How to Cite
YOUNESSI, O. J. and ALCAINO, E. A. (2007), Impalement injuries of the oral cavity in children: a case report and survey of the literature. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 17: 66–71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2006.00765.x
- Issue published online: 19 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 19 SEP 2006
Background. Impalement injuries of the soft palate and oropharynx are common in children, especially those of preschool age. These injuries are particularly common in toddlers, given their propensity to fall easily while carrying objects in their mouths. Although most of these injuries do not have lasting sequelae, some can have devastating neurological complications, and consequently, careful assessment of the patient during the early stages of trauma is imperative. Close follow-up for up to 72 h, and parental counselling and instruction should be considered as part of their immediate care.
Case report. A case of toothbrush impalement in a 4-year-old child is presented. The foreign body was noted to be lodged in the cheek. After careful triaging, history taking and appropriate imaging, surgical removal of this brush was carried out uneventfully under general anaesthesia. No further complications were noted postoperatively, and because of the type of injury, the patient was discharged within 24 h and reviewed as an outpatient.
Conclusion. A survey of the literature confirms that most injuries of this kind can be treated conservatively, and in many cases, without surgical intervention. However, careful assessment by an experienced clinician is necessary to rule out other complications. The present paper discusses the prevalence, management and complications associated with impalement injuries of the oral cavity in children.