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Italian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2021 April;10(1):51-5

DOI: 10.23736/S2532-1285.21.00064-1

Copyright © 2021 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license which allows users to copy and distribute the manuscript, as long as this is not done for commercial purposes and further does not permit distribution of the manuscript if it is changed or edited in any way, and as long as the user gives appropriate credits to the original author(s) and the source (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI) and provides a link to the license.

language: English

Bell’s palsy at the Emergency Department: an epidemiological retrospective 9-year study

Filippo MANELLI 1 , Stefano BONETTI 1, Mariachiara MICHELINI 1, Maria S. COTELLI 2

1 Emergency Unit, Emergency Department, ASL Val Camonica, Esine, Brescia, Italy; 2 Unit of Neurology, ASL Val Camonica, Esine, Brescia, Italy

BACKGROUND: Bell’s palsy (BP), named after the Scottish anatomist Sir Charles Bell, is the most frequent diagnosis linked to facial nerve palsy/paralysis as well as the most frequent acute mono-neuropathy. Although it usually resolves within weeks or months, BP facial paresis/paralysis may lead to severe temporary oral insufficiency and an incapability to close the eyelids in some cases, resulting in potentially permanent eye injury.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective study lasting 9 years (from January 2012 to December 2020) considering all patients evaluated at the Emergency Department in our Hospital. The aim of the study was to allow quick and prompt evaluation of Bell’s palsy at Emergency Department through evaluation of common symptoms and signs, etiologies and comorbidities in both adults and children.
RESULTS: Considering that Val Camonica population is estimated about 100,000 inhabitants (fonts: Istituto Nazionale di STATistica -ISTAT 2017-2018), [18] we found an annual incidence rate similar to literature (15-30 cases per 100,000 population), even if we have to considered that not all evaluated patients are permanently living in Val Camonica. From 2012 to 2020 we estimated that 226,780 patients were overall evaluated in our emergency room (mean value 25,197 visits every year).
CONCLUSIONS: Bell’s palsy is an acute mononeuropathy that can be easily managed at Emergency Department. Prompt clinical recognition of symptoms and signs and correct medical history allows quick treatment with better prognosis.

KEY WORDS: Bell palsy; Emergency service, hospital; Retrospective studies

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