Facial injuries | Medical Council of Canada
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Facial injuries

Version: March 2023
Legacy ID: 109-8


Facial injuries have the potential to affect both function and cosmetic appearance with resultant psychological effects. Additionally, life-threatening complications due to damage to the airway and central nervous system are possible.

Causal Conditions

(List not exhaustive)

  1. Trauma (e.g., blunt, penetrating, crush injury)
  2. Burns

Key Objectives

Given a patient with a facial injury, the candidate will diagnose the cause, severity, and complications and initiate an appropriate management plan. In particular, the candidate will assess and control vital functions and give management priority to life-threatening injuries.

Enabling Objectives

Given a patient with a facial injury, the candidate will

  1. list and interpret critical clinical findings, including those derived from
    1. a history of the nature and mechanism of injury; and
    2. an assessment of the individual’s airway, cardiopulmonary, and neurologic status;
  2. list and interpret critical investigations, including those used to determine the nature and severity of facial injuries; and
  3. construct an effective initial management plan, including
    1. recognizing immediate threats to survival requiring emergent specialist referral;
    2. outlining the priorities in the treatment of the facial injury;
    3. addressing patient concerns regarding long-term complications (e.g., cosmetic appearance, effect on function);
    4. outlining and providing the initial treatment of the facial injury; and
    5. referring for specialized ongoing care as indicated.