Many of us read or heard news reports recently about the ten year old Missouri boy, Xavier Cunningham, who fell from a tree house and was impaled by a metal meat skewer that was sticking out of the ground. The skewer penetrated his cheek and skull, just under the boy’s eye. Fortunately, the skewer missed all of his major arteries but, as we discussed in a previous article, facial injuries can be life-changing or even life-threatening because of the proximity to blood vessels, arteries, and airways.
Xavier Cunningham was treated by a team of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) neurosurgery specialists from the University of Kansas Health System. Because the skewer had gone through jaw muscle, they could not use a breathing tube and had to go through Cunnigham’s nose to create an airway. Additionally, pulling the skewer out risked major arteries. After hours of surgery, the team was able to remove the rod.
According to the National Library of Medicine, unintentional childhood injury represents an important global health problem. Many injuries experienced by children aged under 5 years occur within the home and are preventable.
As we enter fall and winter approaches it is important to be aware of and to remove yard hazards that may be covered by leaves or snow. Grills and firepits, recreational equipment, poorly-maintained fencing, clotheslines, ground stakes, and other items can all create fall hazards where children play.
Do you have a question about Oral and Facial Surgery, our practice, or our procedures? You may call us at 301-791-1700 or drop us a note here.