Interfacility Transfer Guidelines for Isolated Facial Trauma: A Multidisciplinary Expert Consensus

Matthew E. Pontell, Jordan P. Steinberg, Donald R. Mackay, Eduardo D. Rodriguez, E. Bradley Strong, Alexis B. Olsson, J. David Kriet, Kevin J. Kelly, Mark W. Ochs, Peter J. Taub, Shaun C. Desai, Stephen Macleod, Srinivas Susarla, Travis T. Tollefson, Warren Schubert, Brian C. Drolet, Michael S. Golinko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to develop guidelines for the transfer of patients with isolated craniomaxillofacial trauma. Methods: A national, multidisciplinary expert panel was assembled from leadership in national organizations and contributors to published literature on facial reconstruction. The final panel consisted of five plastic surgeons, four otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons, and four oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The expert panelists' opinions on transfer guidelines were collected using the modified Delphi process. Consensus was predefined as 90 percent or greater agreement per statement. Results: After four Delphi consensus building rounds, 13 transfer guidelines were established, including statements on fractures of the frontal sinus, orbit, midface, and mandible, as well as soft-tissue injuries. Twelve guidelines reached consensus. Conclusions: The decision to transfer a patient with craniomaxillofacial trauma to another facility is complex and multifactorial. While a percentage of overtriage is acceptable to promote safe disposition of trauma patients, unnecessarily high rates of secondary overtriage divert emergency medical services, increase costs, delay care, overload tertiary trauma centers, and result in tertiary hospital staff providing primary emergency coverage for referring hospitals. These craniomaxillofacial transfer guidelines were designed to serve as a tool to improve and streamline the care of facial trauma patients. Such efforts may decrease the additional health care expenditures associated with secondary overtriage while decompressing emergency medical systems and tertiary emergency departments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835E-846E
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Interfacility Transfer Guidelines for Isolated Facial Trauma: A Multidisciplinary Expert Consensus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this