This article discusses the development of the first regional computerized database for the epidemiological evaluation of maxillofacial trauma and tests its usefulness by evaluating the appropriateness and completeness of the resulting information.
The database was developed using Microsoft Access, implemented using Visual Basic. Data were entered in the database by 4 different maxillofacial specialists, one from each of the 4 main regional hospitals where maxillofacial trauma is treated. Clinical information was taken from 100 complete records of patients hospitalized for maxillofacial fractures at the Maxillofacial Division of San Giovanni Battista Hospital in Turin from January to June 2009.
Thirteen database fields were used: general information, cause and mechanism of injury, fracture site, Facial Injury Severity Scale, head and neck examination, associated injuries, timing and type of surgery, and days of hospitalization.
Overall, the data entered were 99.45% complete and 99.5% accurate. Thus, our regional maxillofacial database can be considered complete and accurate. Some of the errors, mainly in the fields "fracture site" and "Facial Injury Severity Scale," were attributable to an incorrect interpretation of facial fracture diagnoses, based on the medical records that were provided.