Walk-through injuries: Glass door facial injuries

Eyal Gur*, Yoav Barnea, David Leshem, Arik Zaretski, Aharon Amir, Jerry Weiss, Tommy Shpitzer, Raphael Shafir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During 1998, 13 patients were treated in the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center for complex facial soft-tissue injuries caused by passing through large, clear glass doors. All epidemiological details were gathered and analyzed. Of 1,100 soft-tissue facial injury admissions in 1 year, 13 patients had a substantial soft-tissue facial injury after passing through a glass barrier. Nine were injured during leisure time activity, five in a shopping mall, and four in their residence. Interestingly, the authors found a common pattern of facial injuries in all patients. It consisted of large, irregular, composite skin and soft-tissue flaps as well as large, torn, irregular skin lacerations. The nose was injured predominantly, and the injury was particularly complex. Their recommended management of these injuries is a thorough and careful evaluation of flap viability. Surgical management of avulsed, viable flaps includes margin debridement and repositioning. If the flap is narrow enough, it can be debrided and the margins adapted primarily. If viability of part of the flap is in doubt, that part should be debrided and used as a composite graft. When this graft dies, a full-thickness graft is taken from another facial site. The cosmesis of such a graft is better than using the debrided, thin segment as a skin graft that is too thin. The authors emphasize that there is a need to encourage authorities to reinforce regulations relating to injury prevention from architectural glass. The first is to use special glazing, either tempered glass, laminated glass, or both. The other method of improving safety is by indicating glass using decorations or warning stickers, or by making it partly translucent. Unless these regulations are obeyed, fatal or complex trauma may occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-616
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


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