National Facial Injury Survey 2008 – initial results

The second national survey of all facial injuries recorded over a one week period took place between 12 and 19 September 2008. Over 8700 case report forms were completed in hospitals all over the UK. Preliminary findings demonstrate that the number of accidents related the consumtion of alcohol has increased since the previous survey was undertaken in 1997

The greatest average number of units (2.51) was consumed by 16 to 25 year olds, but they did not drink significantly more than 26 to 35 or 36 to 45 year olds. We also found that:

  • 66% of assaults were alcohol related
  • 15% of accidents were alcohol related
  • In the 16 to 55 year age groups this rises to 73%
  • 45% of cases where alcohol was involved were serious, compared to just 33% of cases alcohol was not involved
  • Incidents involving alcohol were 1.7 times more likely to be serious

Eleven years ago, between Friday September 12th -19th 1997, the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS), with the support of the British Association of Accident and Emergency Medicine, attempted to record comprehensive details on all the facial injuries that occurred in the UK in one week.

The study succeeded in gaining this information on 6,100 patients and two papers were published on the results. President Clinton’s alcohol advisory committee used the data to inform their planning. Because of the findings on binge drinking, BAOMS and The Facial Surgery Research Foundation – Saving Faces (FSRF) have conducted prospective randomised sociological studies in schools to discourage young people from drinking excessively.

BAOMS, Saving Faces and The College of Emergency Medicine conduted a follow-up audit for one week between 12 and 19 September 2008 in every emergency department in the UK. This was a worthwhile exercise to establish changes in the demographics and injury types, particularly with the current increase in knife related assaults.

A and E Departments and dentists were invited to participate in this study by collecting data on patients with facial injuries. Data was collected on over 8,500 injuries nationwide. For more information please call 020 346 55755 or email: