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Am J Emerg Med. 2003 Jul;21(4):258-62.

Patterns of injury in hospitalized terrorist victims.

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Israel National Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research, Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel 52621.


Acts of terror increase the demand for acute care. This article describes the pattern of injury of terror victims hospitalized at 9 acute-care hospitals in Israel during a 15-month period of terrorism. To characterize patients hospitalized as a result of terror injuries, we compared terror casualties with other injuries regarding severity, outcome, and service utilization. Using data from the National Trauma Registry, characteristics of casualties are portrayed. During the study period, 23,048 patients were recorded, 561 of them (2.4%) were injured through terrorist acts. Seventy percent were younger than 29 years. Seventy-five percent were males. Thirteen percent of terror victims compared with 3% with other traumatic injuries, arrived by helicopter. Injury mechanism consisted mainly of explosions (n = 269, 48%) and gunshot injuries (n = 266, 47%). One third of the population experienced severe trauma (Injury Severity Score > or = 16). One hundred-forty-two patients (26%) needed to be admitted to the intensive-care unit. Inpatient mortality was 6% (n = 35). Fifty-five percent of the injuries (n = 306) included open wounds and 31% (n = 172) involved internal injuries; 39% (n = 221) sustained fractures. Half of the patients had a procedure in the operating room (n = 298). Duration of hospitalization was longer than 2 weeks for nearly 20% of the population. Injuries from terrorist acts are severe and impose a burden on the healthcare system. Further studies of the special injury pattern associated with terror are necessary to enhance secondary management and tertiary prevention when occurring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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