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March 15, 1958


Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis.

JAMA. 1958;166(11):1324-1326. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.62990110003011a

One of the injuries peculiar to automobile accidents is the windshield injury—multiple, irregular lacerations of the face sustained when the victim strikes the windshield. These injuries are notoriously deceiving. All too often, wound margins are carefully sutured and primary healing is achieved, yet in a few weeks the initial smooth, fine scars have widened or become hypertrophic and the margins are inverted, rolled, elevated, or otherwise distorted. A pleasing repair at the operating table becomes a source of disappointment to the physician and distress to the patient. Secondary repair becomes necessary.

While it is true that unsatisfactory scars can be improved by later surgical revision, it is equally true but more significant that satisfactory results can be achieved from primary repair if the causes of the subsequent problems are understood and eliminated at the time. The purpose of this paper is to point out the pitfalls in the repair of