Chapter Summary

The management of facial injuries requires a standard systematic approach to assessment and treatment.

In the sporting arena, patients with facial injuries are usually able to protect their own airway due to protective reflexes, but there are circumstances where this may not be the case.

It is vitally important to undertake this survey in a controlled organized manner. In this way both soft and hard tissues will be examined, hopefully missing nothing including the oral cavity.

The important message in the management of facial soft tissue injuries is to clean the wound of all debris, and through correct management to facilitate optimal healing with minimal aesthetic or functional deficit, with repair of damaged tissue and minimal scarring.

In managing hard tissue injuries, a systematic examination is essential to look for facial asymmetry, inspect for bruising, swelling, lacerations, missing tissue, foreign bodies and bleeding.

In all cases if you are unsure of the diagnosis and/or the necessary treatment refer to the appropriate specialist, usually by attending the nearest Emergency Department.