The significant bodily violence and harm to children from blast injuries continue to be substantially caused by unexploded ordnance and improved explosive devices. Children have many unique anatomic and pathophysiologic attributes that potentially affect their susceptibility to injury. Consequently, this provides a characteristic profile to mine blast effects and projectile injuries. As a result, children’s injuries inflicted on craniofacial tissues, airway compromise, hemorrhage, and brain injuries vary significantly from those inflicted on adults. In children more than adults, it is relevant that the simplest, immediate repair of maxillofacial injury is preferable to a major complex surgical approach that is significantly delayed because of availability.
Twenty-one cases of mine blast/shrapnel pediatric maxillofacial injuries were selected to represent categorical varieties of a significant but unknown number of casualties treated successfully. The high number of mortality and morbidity caused by mine blast/projectile necessitates a reappraisal of pediatric craniofacial management training. “Losing a single child’s life” is especially unacceptable if that loss was found to be due to the medical preparedness being inadequate or the lack of pediatric knowledge.