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Electrical burns of the mouth: still searching for an answer.

Burns 1996 March
This report is a review of the literature and the clinical experience of electrical burns of the mouth in the West Midlands Regional Burns Unit at the Birmingham Accident Hospital, UK, over the past 10 years. There were five patients, four were children, 9 months to 5 years of age, and one adult. All patients had electrical conduction injuries involving the lips and perioral structures with involvement of the oral commissure. Electrical arc and flash burns were not included in this study. One child had a severe electrical injury and posed a difficult management problem. Although a variety of reconstructive procedures are available, the dilemma between conservative treatment and immediate reconstruction persists. Early intraoral splinting has been suggested in the literature. It was not used in any of the patients in this series and, though it may be beneficial, the patient compliance of a paediatric population may be questionable. The incidence of electrical burns has been on the decline, but those affecting the mouth still continue to be a major problem in management.

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