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The care of traumatic dental injuries in primary schools in Southern Nigeria
Pubblication date: 09/2015
Authors: J. O. Eigbobo*, C. L. Nzomiwu**, S. S. Etim*, E. O. Amobi***
Institution: *Department of Child Dental Health, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
**Department of Child Dental Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
***Department of Child Dental Health, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria
Publication: European Journal of Paediatic Dentistry
Publisher: Ariesdue Srl
Keywords: Dental trauma; Management of dental emergencies; School nurses
Title: The care of traumatic dental injuries in primary schools in Southern Nigeria
Abstract: Aim To assess the standards of care given to children who sustain traumatic dental injuries (TDI) in Nigerian primary schools.
Materials and methods Study design: cross-sectional study. Public and private schools were selected from the Southern geopolitical zones in Nigeria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on the presence or absence of a school clinic, trained nurse, records and first aid box from the head teachers. The record of past traumatic dental injury, cause of the injury and treatment measures were also obtained. Statistics: the information obtained were analysed using SPSS version 20.
Results There were 90 private and 90 public primary schools; 61 (34.1%) schools had school clinics. Forty-two (23.9%) of the schools had school nurses (7 public and 35 private schools), and 27 (64.3%) of them had been trained to treat dental emergencies. Only 14 (7.8%) of the schools had records of dental injuries, and luxation injuries (31.6%) was the commonest injury. Children who sustained injuries in the school premises were sent home in 59 (38.7%) schools, while 36 (22.5%) and 37 (23.1%) schools were referred to physicians and dentists, respectively.
Conclusion many schools do not have school clinics/sick bays or are poorly equipped to handle dental emergencies. Sending children home or to health centres without first aid could affect the prognosis of dental injuries, since timely intervention is of utmost importance for a successful outcome.